Week NewsBrief 9/16-9/22
Tennessee graduation rate hits all-time high in the 2018-19 school year – By Jason Gonzales, Nashville Tennessean
Tennessee inched closer to a 90% high school graduation in the 2018-2019 school year, hitting a milestone for the rate at which students are earning a diploma.
The state increased its overall graduation rate to 89.7% and gained half a percentage point over the previous year. Over 72,000 students graduated in 2018-19, with 183 graduates over the previous year, according to state numbers.
The state's graduation rate is the highest-ever for the state, which has steadily seen increases since changes made in 2011.
Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn celebrated the accomplishment, but said she believes the state can top this year's results.
"Ultimately, I would like to see all 130 districts that serve high school students have a 90 percent graduation or better," she said. "That’s something my team will be very focused on over the next four years, along with making sure those students have a career or college path in mind the day they walk across the stage to get that diploma.”
'Our house is on fire.' Global Climate Strike draws out hundreds of thousands of protesters in New York, DC - By Doug Stanglin, Grace Hauk and Janet Wilson, USA Today
A boisterous crowd of at least 200,000 people turned out to chant and march in Manhattan on Friday, joining hundreds of thousands - possibly millions - of protesters from Australia to Thailand to London in Global Climate Strike rallies.
While supporters of all ages turned out, the day was billed as a walkout by high school students to call on world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change, carbon emissions and other environmental issues.
Greta Thunberg, the noted 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist whose efforts have been raising environmental consciousness around the globe, spoke to a crowd of tens of thousands in New York City's Battery Park.
"Around the world today about 4 million people have been striking," Thunberg said. "This is the biggest climate strike ever in history and we all should be so proud of ourselves because we have done this together."
New York City schools excused the city's 1.1 million students from class to participate.