Education

Education
6:06 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Officials Hand Out Report Cards to Georgia Schools

Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

The Georgia Department of Education issued report cards this week, but the recipients were schools, not students. Schools were graded on students’ tests scores and whether those improved. Overall, report card scores dropped this year, but Matt Cardoza, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education, isn’t too worried.

“It’s something that you want to look at,” Cardoza says. “You don’t get cause for concern necessarily on one year’s worth of data, but if it’s a longer-term trend, then it’s something that’s a little more cause for concern.”

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Education
5:40 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Spelman Sets Pace In Sciences

White House office of science and technology director John Holdren meets the SpelBots.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

The U.S. needs more engineers and scientists, according to the White House. So it sent its director of science and technology to Atlanta’s Spelman College Wednesday to get some ideas.

Programming robots is just part of what the SpelBots do. The Spelman robotics team also conducts research and does community outreach.

“We’ve been using the robots to do things like outreach to children, students at middle schools, just kind of introducing robotics to them, as well as competing,” says senior Daria Jordan.

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Education
5:44 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

How Are Georgia Colleges Responding To Sexual Assault Claims?

Two women have sued Georgia Tech’s Phi Kappa Tau fraternity for shrugging off rape allegations. Georgia Tech is not named in the lawsuit and the university expelled the accused offender and shut down the fraternity’s chapter.
Credit Wally Gobetz / flickr.com/wallyg

Disclaimer: The following story may not be suitable for young readers.

Rolling Stone magazine has retracted parts of a recent story on sexual assault at the University of Virginia. The victim’s credibility has been called into question. But, the issue is an important one for Georgia colleges.

Two women have sued Georgia Tech’s Phi Kappa Tau fraternity for shrugging off rape allegations. Their attorney, BJ Bernstein, says the organization encouraged its members to sexually assault women.

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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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Education
4:32 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Gov. Deal To Focus On Education Funding With New Advisory Board

Gov. Nathan Deal's new education advisory board is made up of superintendents, principals, school board members and other educators.
Credit Branden Camp / Associated Press

Earlier this week, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the new members of his education advisory board.

It’s made up of superintendents, principals, school board members and other educators.

In his second term, Gov. Deal wants to look at amending the grade school funding formula.

It’s one of several policy issues Deal hopes to discuss with the education advisory board.

“Reading on grade level will continue to be a focus. We also would like to see the K-12 funding formula amended,” Deal's deputy Chief of Staff Erin Hames said.

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Education
6:00 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Georgia Colleges Try to Help Homeless Students

The CARE center at Kennesaw State University has a food pantry where students in need can receive meals.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

We often think of the homeless during the holiday season. We don’t usually associate the term with college students. But it’s a problem most colleges have to face.

Kennesaw State University is the first Georgia college to develop a program devoted to helping homeless students. The CARE (Campus Awareness Resource & Empowerment) center has a food pantry for students in need and helps homeless students find a place to stay. The center is currently helping about 30 students.

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Education
4:48 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Are Schools Too Test-Focused?

Burgess-Peterson Elementary School principal Robin Robbins meets with students during an after-school study program in Atlanta, in preparation for last year's state standardized testing.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The federal government requires states to test students in grades 3-12 every year, and several states, including Georgia, are starting to use scores from those tests to evaluate teachers. Some parents and educators, however, worry schools are too focused on ‘the test’.

Every year, you can tell when it’s ‘high stakes test time’. Parents start posting on social media about how stressed their kids are over end-of-the-year tests.

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Local
11:37 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Georgia Pushes To Help Prisoners Complete Education

A prison classroom.
Credit M. Spencer Green / Associated Press

State officials have launched a new program that helps people behind bars get back behind the school desk.  

The Georgia Department of Corrections has joined forces with Mountain Education Charter School.

The goal is to get state prisoners a high school diploma or GED.

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Education
5:21 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Researchers Urge U.S. Lawmakers To Prioritize Early Education

Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

U.S. lawmakers are pretty polarized these days, but they seem to agree investing in early education pays off. Studies show kids who go to school early have a better chance of graduating from high school and are less likely to commit crimes. So hundreds of education researchers wrote an open letter to policymakers urging them to prioritize early education.

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Education
2:00 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Woods Takes State Superintendent's Race

GOP candidate Richard Woods, seen here at a forum in September, beat Democrat Valarie Wilson by a wide margin.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

The Republicans’ election sweep included the race for state schools superintendent. GOP candidate Richard Woods beat Democrat Valarie Wilson by a wide margin.

Early on, Wilson’s supporters were confident.  Noisemakers and confetti sat on tables, ready for a victory celebration. But they remained untouched shortly before midnight when Wilson conceded. She said she was surprised Woods nabbed 60 percent of the vote.

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Education
8:11 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Emory Group Goes to Bat for Undocumented Students

U.S. Congressman John Lewis spoke at Emory's 2014 graduation ceremony.
Credit Michell Eloy / WABE

During the Freedom Summer of 1964, hundreds of college students flocked to Mississippi to help register African-American voters.  Fifty years later, that event is still inspiring other social movements, some of which also use the name ‘Freedom’. One such group at Emory University is sticking up for undocumented students.

Georgia Congressman John Lewis helped organize the Freedom Summer. He also delivered Emory’s commencement address last spring, where he urged students to support immigration reform.

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Politics
5:50 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Candidate Interview: Richard Woods

Credit Jason Parker / WABE

Tuesday, Nov. 4 is Election Day. Three top races are U.S. Senate, Governor and State Schools Superintendent. WABE has interviewed the candidates in those races.

In the State Schools Superintendent race, Richard Woods is the Republican candidate.

In South Georgia’s Irwin County school system, Woods has been a principal and curriculum director for Kindergarten through fifth grade. But, he spent most of his 22 years there as a high school social studies teacher.

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Politics
8:50 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Candidate Interview: Valarie Wilson

Credit John Bazemore / AP Photo

Tuesday, Nov. 4 is Election Day. This week, WABE will air interviews with some candidates in statewide races. Monday we focused on who might succeed John Barge as State Schools Superintendent. Democratic Candidate Valarie Wilson spoke with WABE’s Martha Dalton. Wilson served on the Decatur school board and the state School Boards Association. But some might wonder why a candidate for superintendent has never been a teacher. The interview starts with Wilson’s answer.

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Education
3:52 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Thurmond: DeKalb Schools' Ebola Policy Errs on Side of Caution

The word "Welcome" is displayed in 11 languages in the entrance of the DeKalb Schools central office.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Several metro Atlanta school systems have updated their health policies to include Ebola guidelines. The DeKalb County school district was one of the first to do so after delaying enrollment for two students who came from a country affected by the virus. Now, the students need to have their medical documents approved by the district superintendent before they can attend class.

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Politics
12:43 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Barge Endorses Wilson in State Schools Superintendent Race

Republican State Schools Superintendent John Barge (far left) endorsed Democrat Valarie Wilson to take his place.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Republican State Schools Superintendent John Barge Thursday endorsed Democratic candidate Valarie Wilson. Barge decided against a second term as superintendent to challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the Republican gubernatorial primary last spring. Deal won by a wide margin.

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Local
6:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Georgia Lottery: New Game and Record Profits Likely To Boost Education Funding

Georgia and more than 20 other states are rolling out the Monopoly Millionaires' Club game this week. Georgia Lottery officials estimate the game could mean a total of $10 million for state-funded lottery programs for this fiscal year.
Credit youtube.com/PlayMMCLottery / Georgia Lottery

A new lottery game launched this week – the Monopoly Millionaires' Club. The rollout follows a record-breaking quarter for the Georgia Lottery. WABE’s Michelle Wirth reports on what new lottery profits could mean for our state’s students.

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Education
6:46 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

School Districts Update Policies to Include Ebola Response

Credit Dan Raby / WABE

Some metro Atlanta school districts are updating their health policies to include guidelines for the Ebola virus. Some districts, like DeKalb and Cobb, announced this week students from Ebola-affected countries won’t be able to enroll until the superintendent approves their medical documents. Cobb schools spokesperson Kyler Post says it’s a proactive move.

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DeKalb County
6:58 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Druid Hills Group Withdraws Petition to Create Charter School Cluster

Druid Hills High School would serve the proposed charter cluster. The other schools in the cluster are Druid Hills Middle School and five elementary schools: Avondale, Briar Vista, Fernbank, Laurel Hills and McLendon.
Credit DeKalb County School District

A DeKalb County group trying to create a charter school cluster has withdrawn its petition.

The group proposed a cluster of five elementary schools, a middle school, and Druid Hills High School. Its first shot at getting the DeKalb Board of Education to approve its plan was rejected last November, and the group had not been able to get back on the board’s agenda.

Another problem: all of the cluster’s seven schools are in unincorporated DeKalb County, but given current cityhood and annexation plans, that may not be the case for long.

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Education
4:59 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

'Test Optional' Colleges Consider Alternatives to SAT

Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, is one of a handful of Georgia schools that don't require students to submit SAT or ACT scores.
Credit Uncommon Fritillary / flickr.com/30473186@N05/

SAT results came out this week. Georgia’s average scores fell slightly. But some colleges don't require the test anymore. They're part of a growing number of schools that have gone "test-optional". 

An SAT or ACT score won’t always predict how a student will perform in college. That is why Agnes Scott College in Decatur decided to let students choose whether to submit their scores.

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Local
7:12 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Former Atlanta Teacher: "We Changed the Answers."

Retired APS math teacher Oliver Banks during his testimony Wednesday morning.
Credit Kent Johnson / AJC

 A longtime teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools says he and others were doing what they were told when they changed answers on the state’s 2009 standardized exam.

 

For the first time in the trial, the jury heard how some educators physically changed answers and it was from 76-year-old Oliver Banks.

He resigned in 2010 after 49 years as a teacher at Gideons Elementary.

“I felt bad about what I had done. It was just a pain. It was a pain, I could not stand it, you know, just stay there and face those people every day knowing that I done what I did.”

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Education
8:10 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Loan Changes Squeeze Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Several U.S. colleges have seen declining enrollment since the recession began. But changes to a federal loan program in 2011 have hit some historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, especially hard.

Clark Atlanta sophomore Jasmine Johnson says waiting for a loan to be approved can be stressful.

“My freshman year when I got here, I didn’t have enough money because my Parent PLUS hadn’t been approved yet,” she says.  

The Parent PLUS is a federal student loan.

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Education
4:42 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Some Seniors Take Advantage of Free College Tuition

Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Higher education is free for some Georgia senior citizens. A state policy allows residents ages 62 and up to go back to college for free. 

Judith Carson, 70, is working on her master’s degree in poetry.

“Some of the people call me Aunt Judith now,” she says.

Carson is part of a program at Georgia State University called GSU-62. Students who are at least 62 years old can qualify for free tuition.

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Education
4:37 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Ludacris Accompanies Deal to Middle School in Riverdale

Gov. Nathan Deal (left) and rapper Ludacris spoke to students at Utopian Academy of the Arts in Riverdale Friday.
Credit Dan Raby/WABE News

It’s a pretty good day when the governor comes to your school. But it’s even better when he brings a homegrown celebrity with him. Gov. Nathan Deal and rapper Ludacris visited a school in Clayton County Friday.

At the Utopian Academy for the Arts in Riverdale, Ludacris was not the only entertainer on hand. Students performed an anti-bullying skit and put a new twist on an old R. Kelly song.

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Education
6:21 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Georgia Asks Feds to Delay Consequences for Teachers

Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

State education officials have asked the U.S. Education Department to delay consequences of new teacher evaluations for one year. The system uses student test scores, or student growth data, to assess educators.

Schools are already using the evaluations. That won’t change. But Georgia is implementing new tests this year and officials want to give teachers and students time to adjust.

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Education
5:00 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Fulton Students Honored as REACH Scholars

Gov. Nathan Deal (far left) and Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa (far right) congratulate Fulton's REACH scholars.
Credit Martha Dalton

Wednesday more than 100 Georgia middle and high school students became REACH scholars. The needs-based program gives each recipient a $10,000 college scholarship. Gov. Nathan Deal came out to congratulate Fulton County’s winners.

Deal reminded Fulton County scholars they have to continue working to keep their scholarships.

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Education
5:06 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Gwinnett School District Nabs Prestigious Award Again

Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

The Gwinnett County school district has won a prestigious national award for the second time. But this year Gwinnett will share the prize with another district.

The Broad Prize usually recognizes one large urban school district that shows strong academic performance and improvement while also reducing the achievement gap.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan surprised a New York crowd with this year’s announcement.

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Education
8:15 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Georgia Receives Mixed Results on National Education Report

Credit Dan Raby/WABE News

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has released its latest Educational Leaders and Laggards report. The analysis grades each state in several academic areas. The report shows Georgia is leading in some and lagging in others.

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Politics
5:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Deal Says HOPE Grant Expansion on Second Term Agenda

Gov. Nathan Deal wants to expand the HOPE Grant to cover film-related fields. He's standing in front of the former state archives, which is being turned into a movie set.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

There are several weeks until the November elections, but Gov. Nathan Deal is already planning for his second term in office. The governor Thursday announced an expansion of the HOPE grant program, set to take effect in 2015.

The HOPE grant is a scholarship awarded to technical college students. It already covers full tuition in some high-demand fields, such as education and healthcare.

Standing in front of the former state archives building, which is being transformed into a movie set, Deal said he wants the grant to cover film-related fields too.

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Education
8:15 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Candidates Face Off in Education Forum

Gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Jason Carter (left) and incumbent Republican Gov. Nathan Deal shake hands before PAGE's education forum Monday.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators held a candidate forum Monday. Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and state schools superintendent talked about education.It wasn’t a debate, but there were some fireworks. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and his Democratic opponent state Sen. Jason Carter sparred over education spending.

Carter accused Deal of implementing “Draconian” budget cuts. He said that forced some districts to shorten their calendars.

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Education
5:32 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Will Voters Choose Issues Over Party?

State Sen. Jason Carter (L) and Gov. Nathan Deal (R) spoke to educators at the second annual Education Leadership Institute at Atlanta's Marriott Marquis Friday.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Nominees in some statewide races have insisted lately their elections are about issues, not politics. Some have made education a focal point. And it seems some voters may be willing to put Party aside when it comes to schools.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and his Democratic opponent state Sen. Jason Carter addressed a group of teachers at the Georgia Education Leadership Institute Friday.

Both struck impassioned tones. Carter spoke first. He claimed Deal hasn’t made education a financial priority and promoted his plan to create a separate education budget.

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