The Weekender: TN’s new K-8 tech curriculum, Nashville’s MLS expansion + home market set to cool?

Spotlighting original BirdDog reporting and why a few headlines from elsewhere matter for Tennessee.

Photo by Jannes Glas on Unsplash


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1. Apprentice rules are too strict, industry tells Senate panel

Brian Baker, MarketWatch

Leaders from different industries testified to the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (which is chaired by Tennessee’s own Lamar Alexander, R) that government regulations on apprenticeships are cumbersome and outdated.

The rules are “rigid” and don’t adapt to changes.

Apprenticeships are pitched as one way to help develop skills for potential workers who  don’t have a four-year degree from an undergraduate program.

Read more from BirdDog about efforts around Tennessee to spur different types of apprenticeship programs to get people the skills that employers need:

State officials, looking for ways to develop a workforce that can ‘bob, weave, and adjust,’ push to forge apprenticeship network

Takeaway: Tennessee lags behind its neighbors in apprenticeship programs

Nashville imports Seattle tech training model to ease tight labor market

Takeaway: Tech apprenticeships must be shorter and more nimble because traditional two-year programs take too long to get workers skilled up.


2. Tennessee approves first-ever computer science standards for K-8 schools

Marta W. Aldrich, Chalkbeat

The new guidelines are supposed to introduce and train students in computer science for future jobs in technology — which are in high demand across multiple industries. The last revision was in 2011.

Excerpt: “‘We don’t have enough students actually interested in computer science because they don’t know what it is,’ said Candice McQueen, commissioner of education.”

McQueen hit on a conundrum that stirs great discussion among people trying to deepen the state’s tech worker reserves. There is more to the tech industry than sitting at a computer and coding, but most people don’t realize that.

If you’re a tech nerd, there’s a graphic at The Economist you’re going to love: Python is becoming the world’s most popular coding language


3. The U.S. Housing Market Looks Headed for Its Worst Slowdown in Years

Prashant Gopal and Sho Chandra, Bloomberg

Cities recently renowned for bidding wars are starting to see homes sit on the market for weeks instead of days. Incomes lag surging home prices, and mortgage rates are beginning to climb. The Seattle market has been so hot that there is a start-up that fronts cash for buyers so they can make all-cash offers.

Excerpt: “’This could be the very beginning of a turning point,’ said Robert Shiller, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who is famed for warning of the dot-com and housing bubbles, in an interview. He stressed that he isn’t ready to make that call yet.”

Read more:

CNBC: Southern California home sales crash, a warning sign to the nation

4. Nashville in the MLS: How do you build a team from scratch?

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

Comments from Ian Ayre, the longtime CEO of Liverpool FS, on the opportunity he sees in Nashville in “creating a DNA” and what he learned from mistakes made in Germany.

Excerpt: It is alien to the fluid nature of English football that you could be given 20 months to create a team from scratch and have it ready to compete at the highest level of competition.


5. Justice for opioid Communities Means Massive Payday for Their Lawyers

Andrew Harris, Jared Hopkins and Hannah Recht, Bloomberg

This is an in-depth review from Bloomberg at potential outcomes in the lawsuits filed against a variety of companies involved with opioid distributors and manufacturers. A variety of Tennessee counties and municipalities — there’s a map for easy visualization — are involved in the lawsuits, which are beginning to echo the historical litigation against Big Tobacco.

The CDC ranked the 220 counties in the U.S. most at risk for HIV and or Hepatitis C outbreaks because of opioid use. Forty-one Tennessee counties are on the list with Hancock County in East Tennessee ranked nationally at 13th for most vulnerable. Explore the data


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