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Memphis high school went nearly a year without a chemistry teacher

A Shelby County high school went most of last year without a chemistry teacher, relying instead on a substitute who was not required to have a teaching license or a background in chemistry.

The arrangement had dire consequences on student learning at Booker T. Washington — not one of the 65 students who took the state test in chemistry at the end of the year was proficient, and 92% fell into the lowest scoring category.

The previous year, 42% of the 66 students who took the same test were proficient.