It can be hard moving to the U.S. from another country, especially for a teenager. Imagine taking a high school test on Shakespeare when you barely speak English – while trying to make new friends, graduate, get a good job and help your family get out of poverty.
About 15 percent of children in Georgia’s immigrant families were born in other countries, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Quite a few who came here as teenagers live in DeKalb County and attend Clarkston High School.
In this installment of “Valerie Jackson: In Conversation,” WABE talked with “America’s Teacher” Ron Clark, co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy.
Over 3,000 educators a year visit Clark's nonprofit school to observe some of the most innovative teachers in the world. He is the best-selling author of "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck" and has a newly released book "Move Your Bus, An Extraordinary Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life."
Dr. Wood Smethurst, cofounder of the Ben Franklin Academy and one of the most progressive leaders in Atlanta's education circles, died July 14. He left behind a legacy of humanity and hope, something celebrated by those who attended his memorial service last weekend.
At the end of the service, every one was asked to take a long-stem rose from a floral centerpiece at Glenn Memorial Chapel. It was a way for everyone to leave with something that Doc held close to his heart.
The deadline for negotiations with Iran over a nuclear deal is Friday. Other deadlines in negotiations have already come and gone. The United States is among the group known as the P5 + 1 trying to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
Members of Congress have expressed concern over the secretive nature of the negotiations. They are also at odds with President Barack Obama over the talks and issues relating to a possible nuclear agreement.
The Board of Regents approved an increase in tuition again for the state’s public colleges and universities. Georgia Southern University, shown here, is one of the system's colleges that will increase tuition by 2.5 percent.
Credit Georgia Southern University, Jeremy Wilburn / Associated Press
President Barack Obama gave a speech to nearly 10,000 people at Georgia Tech Tuesday afternoon. He said he’s trying to make college more affordable in a time when many Americans are burdened by student debt.
“Here’s the challenge: Higher education has never been more important, but it’s also never been more expensive,” Obama said.
Obama unveiled what he called a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” and urged people to mobilize around the concept to bring change to the student loan system.
Executive Director Laura Flusche visited the "A Closer Look" studios to tell us about an invitation that MODA extended yesterday, inviting families to bring in their kids for free "until the snow arrives."
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."
On Tuesday, the Georgia Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan education bill that would lead to changes in graduation requirements for high school students who also enroll in technical colleges and universities.
Supporters say right now high schools have one set of requirements and colleges have another.
If the bill gains final approval, the Georgia Department of Education would work with technical colleges and universities to merge the two.
Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, oversees the Senate Education Committee.
The state board of education approved changes to the Common Core education standards Thursday. The standards only include math and English. But officials still aren’t sure about science and Social Studies standards.
“We moved some of these standards that were involved in geometry, for example, in the geometry courses, back to an Algebra course content,” said Martha Reichrath, Georgia’s deputy superintendent of curriculum. “The standard itself, however, didn’t change.”
The Board of Regents today approved a merger between Georgia State University and Georgia Perimeter College. At 53,000 students, the school will be the state’s largest public university. But why are university system officials combining a two-year college like Georgia Perimeter with a four-year school like Georgia State?
When you hear the words ‘colleges’ and ‘merger’ together, it usually means there are money problems. That is one reason for the merger. Georgia Perimeter’s enrollment fell 11% this year.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.