COUNTDOWN: The Most Popular News of 2013, Part 1

Metro Schools made a lot of headlines in 2013, but the best stories were always right here on Children First. To close out the year, we want to celebrate our ten most popular stories. They tell us what you were most interested in reading about this year and represent really diverse topics - from higher student achievement to scholarships, and from the First Lady to celebrating our greatest teachers.

Here is the first half of our top ten list, numbers ten through six. We'll post the second half next Tuesday, so be sure to come back.x

While we're at it, look directly to the right of the headline: Follow Children First! By entering your email address, you will see every story we write. While you're at it, follow us on all our social media accounts and be sure you stay up to date.

And now for the list...

10. I want free money for community college. How does it work?

We were all very excited at the announcement of nashvilleAchieves. Through this program, any Metro high school senior can go to a community or technical college and pay no tuition (as in zero dollars).

9. Six applications to open charter schools in 2014-15

Why did we receive only six applications from ten letters of intent? One school did not make the final deadline, another withdrew its application so it could have more time to put it together and two more did not complete all elements of the application as legally required by the State of Tennessee.

8. First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet Graduation

“We are very excited Mrs. Obama is coming to our graduation,” said Turner. “This will be the event of a lifetime not only because it is the only high school graduation our seniors will have, but also because we will share the celebration with the First Lady.”

7. Scores at Metro Schools rise: Students show gains in math and graduation rate

Students in Metro Nashville Public Schools are achieving at higher levels in nearly all areas tested and the district’s achievement gaps are smaller than those occurring statewide for 13 of the 16 measures calculated, according to testing results released today by the district. The results continue to reflect a pattern of steady progress by Metro Schools, which serves more than 81,000 students.

6. Explore your school options

There are 153 Metro schools, and dozens of them will be open for application for the 2014-15 school year. The Optional Schools Application opens on October 31, which means you have more than a month to find your right fit.