The Georgia Charter Schools Association recently held a bus tour to visit several charter schools they say are excelling. The tour comes in a year where state officials report that charter schools overall are doing slightly better than traditional ones on most standardized testing.
Start-up charter schools in the Atlanta Public School district won’t be required to help the school system pay off more than $500 million dollars in pension debt. That’s after Monday’s unanimous ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court.
Jury foreman Greg Pollock (right) and fellow juror Ben Emerson speak to reporters outside the Fulton County Courthouse following the acquittal of former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman on charges of influencing a witness.
On Friday, September 6, 2013, after nearly 3 weeks of testimony, a Fulton County jury found former Atlanta Public Schools executive director Tamara Cotman not guilty on charges of influencing a witness.
Cotman was accused of pressuring school administrators not to cooperate with the GBI investigation into cheating at APS. WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with jury foreman Greg Pollock.
The first defendant connected to Atlanta's school cheating scandal has been found not guilty on a single count of influencing a witness. The verdict from the Fulton County Superior Court jury came late Friday morning.
Tamara Cotman was a school administrator who oversaw 21 schools in Atlanta. She and 33 others still face charges of racketeering.
The acquittal comes after a three-week trial as prosecutors are still preparing for the racketeering cases.
Former Atlanta School Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall is at the center of the upcoming racketeering trial of 35 former Atlanta Public Schools educators. But now her attorneys confirm that Dr. Hall suffers from breast cancer. That raises the question of whether she will ever go to trial. WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with WABE legal analyst Page Pate, an Atlanta criminal defense attorney, about how the cases of her co-defendants might be affected if Dr. Hall does not go to trial.
Georgia teachers now have access to an electronic records system that tracks students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade. State education officials say it saves teachers time by putting critical data at their fingertips.
Pam Williams has been teaching in the Appling County schools in South Georgia for 23 years. For many of those years, it took her weeks to dig through paper files to find student information. Now, she says, it takes her minutes.
The prosecution continued to lay out the details as to why the state had to conduct an investigation in the first place.
The first person on the stand was former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue.
Becoming emotional, Purdue testified as to why he signed an executive order to pursue the cheating. Perdue was asked if there was a political agenda involved as to why he kept pushing for an investigation.
The former Republican governor said no and even lost friendships over it.
Former executive director of the Governors Office of Student Achievement, Kathleen Mathers points out the schools in Tamara Cotman's region that had a high wrong to right erasure percentage on the 2009 CRCT.
Those are the four e’s Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis says are important for the district to improve and continue its quest to transform children into college and career ready citizens.
WABE’s Rose Scott reports that was the tone of the annual APS state of the schools address.
Davis told the audience of educators, business leaders and political figures that APS recognizes what it needs to do to improve.
But, he also took the time to point out the successes.
Standing 11 stories high on 56-acres of property, the new North Atlanta High School along Cobb Parkway starts school today. Costing $147 million, the school is Georgia’s most expensive high school to date.
As students in the Atlanta Public Schools head back to school next week, they’ll have to transition from summer schedules to some early bus pickup times. But some students and parents may be relieved to know they don’t have to be at the bus stop quite as early as they thought.
Some APS parents were no doubt surprised when they found out their children had to greet the bus before 6 a.m. But APS Associate Superintendent Steve Smith says they can relax.
Fulton Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter wants to make sure there are no conflicts of interests when it comes to prosecution witnesses and current defense attorneys for the indicted Atlanta educators in the cheating scandal.
Although the trial is not scheduled until next year, today Judge Baxter focused on the potential problem of defense attorneys questioning prosecution witnesses who may have been their client in the past.
Gerald Griggs is currently representing former APS teacher Angela Williamson, but in the past he’s represented others.
Atlanta Public Schools will unveil its new Archives and Museum Friday, June 7. The project celebrates more than 140 years of history which for some, may reveal surprises.
The museum is the first of a two phase project by the Atlanta Board of Education to house and archive the history of Atlanta Public Schools. It will trace the first 100 years or so of APS' history, says Dr. Howard Grant, executive Director for the Board of Education.
The Atlanta Regional Commission has issued a report showing a demographic shift in metro Atlanta school districts.
In 2000, six percent of metro Atlanta public school students were Latino. That number grew to 16 percent by 2012. In the same year, the white student population was 37 percent. That’s a 15 percent drop from 2000, according to Mike Alexander, who manages ARC’s Research and Analytics division.
The beginning of the letter sent to parents and guardians of students at North Atlanta High School about an alleged incident of sexual assault at the school earlier this month. A link to a PDF of the entire letter appears at the end of the article.
Educators hope a statewide longitudinal data system will help them address critical issues, such as increasing retention and graduation rates. The system tracks students from Kindergarten to 12th grade.
The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education hosted a panel discussion on data uses. Educators discussed how to use the data system to help students. Panelist Andy Parsons, an assistant commissioner with the Technical College System of Georgia, said the data system can identify gaps, such as which students need remediation.
Starting in July, Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis has decided to temporarily begin paying district charter schools their monthly share of approximately $3 million dollars that’s in dispute due to a pending lawsuit.
At issue: whether the district owes 10 charter schools a portion of local property tax money. The charter schools believe the money is owed to them by state law rather than helping fund the district’s unfunded pension liability.
As some metro-area school districts wrap up standardized testing this week, a spotlight remains on the Atlanta Public Schools. The district is still trying to heal from the scars of a prior test cheating scandal.
After the scandal, APS shifted course, tightening test security and requiring employees to complete ethics training. APS spokesperson Steve Alford says the district also launched tutoring programs to help kids catch up.
35 former employees of the Atlanta Public Schools, including ex-superintendent Beverly Hall, face criminal charges in connection with a 2009 cheating scandal. But while the adults prepare to duke it out in court, some students are paying a price.
Justina Collins’ daughter was a third grader at Cascade Elementary school in 2006. She failed a school-issued reading test. However, she excelled on the state-issued Criterion Referenced Competency Test at the end of the year. Collins questioned officials about the discrepancy.