Chas Sisk

Chas joined WPLN in 2015 after eight years with The Tennessean, including more than five years as the newspaper's statehouse reporter.Chas has also covered communities, politics and business in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Chas grew up in South Carolina and attended Columbia University in New York, where he studied economics and journalism. Outside of work, he's a dedicated distance runner, having completed a dozen marathons

Updated at 2:06 p.m.

A measure that would require government agencies and local police in Tennessee to work with federal immigration authorities will become law, despite a vigorous campaign urging Gov. Bill Haslam to veto the measure.

To many, a pound is a pound and a gallon is a gallon. But setting those exact standards is one of the basic functions of government.

It's even in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, alongside coining money.

Now, the state of Tennessee has a new lab — entirely dedicated to checking whether things are being weighed and measured correctly. Last week, the Department of Agriculture opened a new metrology laboratory in Nashville, and it replaces a building that was so out-of-date, federal authorities essentially said Tennesseans couldn't use it.

Tennesseans are becoming more open to letting undocumented immigrants stay in the country — even as official federal policy has been moving in the opposite direction.


The state’s top educator is promising next year’s standardized testing will go more smoothly — and she’s making some changes to try to bring that about.

 

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said Monday that the state is planning to strip testing vendor Questar of some of its responsibilities, following widespread outages that led many to question the validity of this year’s TNReady results.

Narrowing the education gap will be one challenge facing whoever becomes Tennessee's next governor.

Students in the state are doing better in math and reading, but black and Hispanic students aren't improving as fast as their white counterparts.

Wednesday's final day of the 2018 legislative session was chaotic, even by the usual frenetic standards of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Before lawmakers adjourned at about 11 p.m., the day featured a standoff between the House and the Senate over standardized testing, an attempt to hold the state budget hostage and plenty of last-minute legislative stratagems.

Here are three reasons why the final hours of the 110th General Assembly were so hectic:

The Tennessee legislative session came to a late-night end last week, but some of the bills approved in the final hours might not make it all the way to becoming law.

In this week's edition of The Tri-Star State, Nashville Public Radio's Jason Moon Wilkins and statehouse reporter Chas Sisk discuss what legislation could miss the governor’s signature, as well as other lingering issues.

Tennessee lawmakers wrapped up business Wednesday night, after an arduous final day at the state Capitol dominated by a standoff over TNReady and a dispute over a constitutional amendment.

The House of Representatives and the state Senate spent most of the day locked in a bitter dispute over whether teachers are really going to be protected from repercussions if this year's TNReady scores turn out to be flawed. Last week's exams were overshadowed by frequent interruptions. 

Tennessee lawmakers have given initial approval to a resolution to amend the state constitution to say that "liberties do not come from government, but from Almighty God."

The big debates appeared to be behind the Tennessee Legislature, which has been in a wrap-up phase for the last week or two. Then a move to "punish" Memphis and a cyberattack on standardized tests injected high drama into the final days of the session.

In this week's edition of The Tri-Star State, WPLN's Jason Moon Wilkins and statehouse reporter Chas Sisk look at why a budget decision stirred a national debate on race and how lawmakers addressed more trouble with TNReady.

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