Atlanta Public Schools

Education
2:43 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Gwinnett County Schools Aim To Hire Teachers, Boost Pay

Gwinnett County Schools in Atlanta's northeast suburbs plans to add 175 teacher and 15 school bus driver positions for the next school year.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Georgia's largest school system plans to add teachers and hopes an increase in starting pay will help attract the new hires.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Gwinnett County Schools in Atlanta's northeast suburbs plans to add 175 teacher positions for the next school year. School officials also hope to add 15 school bus drivers.

The newspaper reports that the system wants to increase starting salaries for teachers with bachelor's degrees to $41,028 ─ an increase of nearly $3,000.

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Local
12:05 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Atlanta Test Cheating Trial Jury Resumes Deliberations

Jurors will resume their deliberations Monday in the APS test cheating trial.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jurors will resume their deliberations in the trial of a dozen former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of participating in a conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests.

On Thursday, the jurors meeting in Atlanta heard an explanation of the law and began deciding the outcome of the case shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday. They are scheduled to resume their deliberations on Monday morning.

A grand jury indicted 35 educators in March 2013. Many reached plea agreements with prosecutors.

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Education
8:15 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Judge Tells APS Jury To Read Indictment As Written, Despite Mistake

Judge Jerry Baxter instructed the jury to read the charges against Sharon Davis-Williams as they are written in the indictment.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jurors in the Atlanta test cheating trial hit a snag today soon after they began deliberating. They were confused by a mistake in the indictment. 

A count against former administrator Sharon Davis-Williams mixes up two different schools where she worked.

The jury asked Judge Jerry Baxter if it should treat the mistake as a clerical error. Prosecutors argued it should. Davis-Williams’ attorney, Teresa Mann, said Baxter should direct the jury to find her “not guilty” because of the state’s mistake.

After hearing from both sides, Baxter instructed the jury.

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Education
4:57 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Defense Attorneys Push Back During APS Closing Arguments

Attorney Scott Smith defends client Theresia Copeland, a former testing coordinator.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

After hearing from prosecutors yesterday, the defense attorneys made their closing arguments today in the Atlanta test cheating trial. A dozen former teachers and administrators face up to 20 years in prison for charges including racketeering and making false statements.

Prosecuting attorneys argued Monday the former educators conspired to cheat to boost test scores and get bonuses. Tuesday, the defense attorneys fought back.

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A Closer Look
4:06 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Talks Infrastructure Bond, Falcons Stadium

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed talks about the infrastructure bond, the new Falcons stadium, and other city issues in the ''A Closer Look'' studio.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says "every mayor has their issue," and right now his is the city's crumbling streets.

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APS Trial
11:58 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Atlanta Test Cheating Trial Attorneys Begin Closing Arguments

Attorneys began closing arguments Monday morning in the Atlanta test cheating trial.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Attorneys began closing arguments Monday morning in the Atlanta test cheating trial.

Twelve former APS educators face up to 20 years in prison for charges including racketeering and making false statements. Jurors have listened to six months of testimony, and now state attorneys are trying to convince them former educators conspired to cheat.

Fulton County prosecutor Clint Rucker argued cheating was systemic. He said teachers who changed students’ tests answers on the 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Test corrupted students’ minds and spirits.

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Education
6:00 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Closing Arguments Begin In Atlanta Cheating Trial

Judge Jerry Baxter has been presiding over the Atlanta Public Schools test cheating trial.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For six months, attorneys have presented testimony and evidence in the Atlanta Public Schools test cheating trial. Monday, closing arguments begin. Twelve former teachers and administrators face up to 20 years in prison for racketeering and other charges.

The state has been trying to prove a conspiracy to cheat and boost test scores in an effort to get cash bonuses. That’s what Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Fani Willis argued when the trial began.

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A Closer Look
2:54 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Councilwoman Mary Norwood On The Adair Park School Controversy

Adair Park neighbors want a developer to purchase the George Adair School property.
Credit Maria Saporta / special to WABE

Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood has never been shy of controversial topics. Now, she is taking on disagreements regarding the historic Adair Park community in southwest Atlanta.

Community members want a developer to purchase the George Adair School, that has been an empty eyesore in Adair Park for years. But Mayor Kasim Reed has refused to release the property deed to Atlanta Public Schools because of an ongoing dispute over BeltLine tax payments.

Today on "A Closer Look," Mary Norwood shared her view of the dispute.  

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Atlanta Public Schools
6:23 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Empty Schools Could Become Future Public Parks

A banana plant grows near the Kirkwood Urban Forest. Council member Julian Bond says he wants the city of Atlanta to turn unused school properties into public parks like this.
Credit Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

Council member Julian Bond says he wants the city of Atlanta to turn unused school properties – to which the city holds the deeds – into public parks.

He says the city is growing quickly, but doesn’t have enough green space, and it's not clear how much land is sitting empty, so he says the first step is to catalog it.

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Education
7:56 am
Fri February 13, 2015

DeKalb Charter Cluster Proposal May Get Second Chance

The DeKalb County school board voted 5-4 against the charter cluster proposal over a year ago.
Credit Nick Nesmith / WABE

A petition for a Druid Hills charter schools cluster may get a second chance for approval in DeKalb County.

The charter cluster petition would have given Druid Hills High School and its feeder schools more autonomy, loosening the grip of the school district. But the DeKalb school board narrowly rejected the proposal just over a year ago.

Recently, some petitioners considered annexing to Atlanta, which would make the schools a part of APS.

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A Closer Look
3:34 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Ready To Fix 'Broken' System

Credit Jason Parker / WABE

Dr. Meria Carstarphen blogs, she tweets and she constantly promotes positive news about the Atlanta Public Schools system. She was hired as its superintendent last summer with a unanimous vote by the Atlanta Public Schools board.

When she arrived in Atlanta, APS Board Chairman Courtney English was quoted as saying, "This city could use some unity. She's the right leader at the right time."  

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A Closer Look
3:10 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Sounds Off Again on APS Dispute

Reed talked with ''A Closer Look'' co-hosts Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer live in the WABE studio today about all of his recent achievements, his controversies and his ideas for the future.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

Last week Mayor Kasim Reed delivered a State of the City report that touted “the largest influx of jobs into Atlanta in more than 40 years.” He’s overseen the maiden voyage of the Atlanta Streetcar, managed the sale of Underground Atlanta, and secured the arrival of Google Fiber.

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A Closer Look
12:28 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Adair Park Caught In Dispute Between Mayor Reed and Atlanta Public Schools

The Adair Park community was established in 1892.
Credit Maria Saporta / special to WABE

Last July, my son David bought a house in the transitional neighborhood of Adair Park. The beautiful community in southwest Atlanta is an enclave in the midst of some of the city's most depressed neighborhoods.

My son believed in the renaissance that was coming. Construction of the southwest leg of the Atlanta BeltLine was about to start — only two blocks away from his 1925 home. Yet three doors down from his house was the boarded up George Adair Elementary School — vacant since 1973 and a victim of demolition by neglect.

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Education
10:27 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Ex-APS Official: District Ordered Documents Destroyed

Former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall, right, waits for motions at a Fulton County Superior Court hearing for several dozen Atlanta Public Schools educators facing charges alleging a conspiracy of cheating on the CRCT standardized tests in Atlanta on May 3, 2013.
Credit David Tulis / Associated Press

The former Atlanta Public Schools human resources chief says the district's former superintendent ordered drafts of a report on the investigation into standardized test cheating allegations to be destroyed.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday that Millicent Few said she was told it was legal to destroy the drafts because they weren't final.

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Local
10:37 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Study: Metro Area Could Add 4 Million People By 2030

Up to 4 million more people may be living in the metro Atlanta area within the next 15 years, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C., based Urban Institute.
Credit Gregor Smith / flickr.com/flc

The metro-Atlanta area can expect a big population growth in the next 15 years, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute.

The study lays out 27 scenarios for population growth based on historical data for births, deaths and migration. Even under the most conservative projections, the study shows the metro population could grow by more than a million by 2030.

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Local
6:52 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Atlanta Mayor Blasts Council President Over BeltLine Debt Proposal

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Tuesday blasted City Council President Ceasar Mitchell for interfering in negotiations with Atlanta Public Schools. Reed and APS are currently working to resolve a contract dispute over millions in debt related to paying for the Atlanta BeltLine.

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Politics
4:55 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

APS Parents Press City Council, Mayor on BeltLine Money

APS officials say the city owes the district millions of dollars of allocated tax revenue.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

The Atlanta public school system has been pushing city officials to pay up millions of dollars it says it’s owed. Now, some APS parents are getting involved.

Some background: In 2005, APS agreed to give some of its property tax dollars toward the development of the BeltLine. In return, the city said it would make yearly payments to APS. But once the recession hit, the city said it couldn't pay.

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Education
4:47 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Atlanta Superintendent Says There's A Lot To Fix

Carstarphen and the district have developed a new strategic plan in hopes of combating mismanagment.
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstarphen held a roundtable discussion with reporters today. The APS chief explained how the district plans to address some long-running problems.

You could call it a “back to basics” approach. Carstarphen said before APS can make academic progress, it has to tackle some systemic issues.

“Simple things that get very simple in our world: master scheduling and scheduling for students, bus routes, things that most districts kind of do like clockwork, but for APS it has been a struggle over the years,” she said.

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Transportation
5:23 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Construction Begins On Westside Trail Of Atlanta BeltLine

Another stretch of the BeltLine is now ready for development.
Credit WABE

  Wednesday morning, city leaders broke ground on the 3-mile Westside trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. Mayor Kasim Reed says the expansion shows the city’s commitment to Southwest Atlanta. 

“Many people in the Southwest community never believed that we would make a $43 million investment in this part of town,” Reed says.

A federal grant will speed up construction on the new segment by two to three years. The trail will run from University Avenue in Adair Park up to Lena Avenue at Washington Park.

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Youth Radio
12:12 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Youth Radio: Ripple Effects Of Cheating Teachers

Jenn Steckl
Credit Youth Radio

As Atlantans follow the ongoing trial of Atlanta Public School teachers and administrators charged with cheating, students in the APS district are taking a special interest in the proceedings. Youth Radio Atlanta’s Jenn Steckl sent us her thoughts on how the cheating and its aftermath hurt every student in the system. 

Jenn Steckl is a senior at Grady High School. Her commentary was produced by Youth Radio.

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Atlanta Public Schools
1:43 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

APS Cheating Trial Day 2: Live Tweets, Part 1

Fulton Senior Assistant District Attorney Clint Rucker questions witness Justina Collins during testimony Tuesday.
Kent Johnson Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Rose Scott is covering the trial of the 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of a conspiracy to raise school scores by changing the answers on student tests.  The trial enters its second day of testimony today.

Here are Rose's tweets from the morning of Tuesday, September 30.  They are arranged in chronological order.

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Education
4:28 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

For Some APS Students, First Lady's Advice Affirms Their Plans

First Lady Michelle Obama told Atlanta high school students to plan on college.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / twinlensatl.com

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to students at Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School Monday. Mrs. Obama told students to plan on going to college. But some students have already jump-started the process.

The First Lady didn’t hold back. She told students earning a high school diploma isn’t enough if they want to compete in a global workforce.

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Education
3:36 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Still Facing Skepticism, Atlanta Business Community Gradually Re-engaging With APS

APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has said she'll be an independent voice for Atlanta students.
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta’s business community has been gradually re-engaging with Atlanta Public Schools, raising big sums for APS board candidates and the new superintendent. It follows several years of lying relatively low, and comes as APS leaders increase efforts to rebuild trust with parents.

Richard Quartarone says during former Superintendent Beverly Hall’s tenure parents lacked access compared to business leaders. Quartarone has two kids in APS and leads a parent group in southeast Atlanta called Southeast Atlanta Communities for Schools.

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Education
7:04 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Georgia School Districts Weigh Different Operating Models

Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Due to a 2008 state law, all Georgia school systems will have to decide by the end of next June whether to continue as a traditional school district or choose two other options. State officials say the law was passed in an attempt to spur innovation and the other choices would allow school systems more flexibility from state education rules. School systems from across the state recently attended a Georgia Charter Schools Association symposium focused on the three choices and collaboration between charter and traditional schools.

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Local
5:16 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Negotiations Remain Tense Between City of Atlanta and APS Over BeltLine Debt

Erroll Davis, left, is working to resolve an ongoing dispute with the City of Atlanta over BeltLine debt.
Credit Atlanta Public Schools

Negotiations remain tense between the city of Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools over millions of dollars in debt related to the Atlanta BeltLine.

Under an existing contract that lays out the BeltLine’s funding, APS claims the city owes it as much as $19 million, including a $6.75 million payment due last January.

“There is a degree of frustration having talked about this for multiple years and watching the payments not be made,” said former APS Superintendent Erroll Davis, who was retained to help the school system resolve the dispute.

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Developing
2:41 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Lockdown Of West Atlanta High School Lifted After Handgun Recovered

The scene at Frederick Douglass High School at around 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Credit Jonathan Shapiro/WABE

Update 4:45 p.m.

Atlanta school officials earlier today locked down Frederick Douglas High School in west Atlanta after receiving a tip there was a handgun on campus. The lockdown was lifted after the gun was recovered. All students are safe. Two students suspected to be connected to the handgun are being detained. No arrests have been made yet.

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Atlanta Public Schools
4:51 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Cheating Trial Underway with Jury Selection Process

Prosecutors and defense attorneys prepare for pre-trial arguments.
Kent D. Johnson/The Atlanta Journal Constitution

The first group of prospective jurors for the upcoming Atlanta schools cheating trial arrived at Fulton County Superior Court today.

The final twelve jurors and eleven alternates will come from over a thousand initially summoned.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports, the trial of the twelve former APS educators could be lengthy and expensive.

In courtroom 1C, which is called a ceremonial courtroom, the first set of potential jurors was given a questionnaire.

And they were also given a procedural speech by Judge Jerry Baxter which included instructions to be on time.

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Atlanta Public Schools
3:42 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Top APS Students to Get Full Tuition Scholarship to Georgia Tech

APS superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen stands with Georgia Tech president Dr. Bud Peterson at Booker T. Washington High School Thursday. The pair just announced a program that will give top APS students full scholarships to Ga Tech.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

Atlanta Public School students who graduate at the top of their classes can now go to one of the nation’s top institutions of higher learning.  For free.

The deal is the result of a program announced Thursday called APS Scholars@Georgia Tech. 

The idea’s simple: Graduate as valedictorian or salutatorian of your high school class, and you get comp’d four years of tuition as a Yellow Jacket.

Speaking Thursday at Booker T. Washington High School in southwest Atlanta, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen praised the partnership for opening new doors.

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Atlanta Public Schools
5:48 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

No Air Conditioning? No Textbooks? No Problem, Says Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta school officials say the textbooks are expected to arrive some time during the first quarter of the school year.
Credit Image courtesy of acclaimclipart.com

Monday, August 4th, 2014 was the first day of school for many metro Atlanta students.

However, in some Atlanta schools lack of air conditioning and a lack of textbooks were an issue.

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Education
8:40 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Veteran Educators Dole Out Advice for First-Year Teachers

Veteran teachers at Maynard Jackson High School gear up for a new school year.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Some metro Atlanta students will head back to school this week. Cobb and Gwinnett Counties and the Atlanta Public Schools all resume classes. Teachers, though, have already been working, planning for their students’ arrival. Some of those teachers are new on the job.  

WABE’s Martha Dalton spoke with veteran teachers at Maynard Jackson High School in APS to see what advice they have for first-year teachers. Here’s what they had to say.

    

WABE’s broadcast license is held by the Atlanta Board of Education.

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