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Education

Barnaby Wasson via Flickr / http://www.flickr.com/photos/barnabywasson/279913090/

A new report from the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) concludes that Georgia does a good job educating the state’s four-year-olds, but there’s room for improvement.

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Now-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press file

The Trump administration is proposing "the most ambitious expansion" of school choice in American history, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Monday while giving few details on how the program would work.

 

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David Goldman / Associated Press

Last month, Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the First Priority Act, his latest plan to improve the performance of chronically-struggling schools in the state.  The measure offers state resources and assistance to those schools — many of which are in the Atlanta area — but it also raises some questions about how it will work, and who will pay for it.

In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a sign is seen at the entrance to a hall for a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed nine bills this week. Among them was legislation that would've let students opt-out of state tests without consequences. In a statement, the governor said House Bill 425 isn't needed because kids can withdraw from testing under current law.

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But Meg Norris, a teacher and parent, said kids who opt out are often punished.

Tony Bennett, right, lead teacher at the Sheltering Arms, an early education and family center in Atlanta, Ga. works with a group of Pre-K students Thursday, May 10, 2007. A study released by the Southern Education Foundation reported that the South is le
Gene Blythe / Associated Press

The Georgia lottery provides money for about 84,000 4 year olds to attend the state’s pre-kindergarten program. But only 81,000 children are served, due to a lack of space.

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Now-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press file

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she is a "strong supporter" of historically black colleges and universities.

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In a statement released late Sunday, DeVos said she would "continue to be an advocate for them and for programs that make higher education more accessible to all students."

 

How Ed Secretary Betsy DeVos Could Affect Your Student Loan And Your Future

May 4, 2017
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Donald Trump continues to allegedly “Make America Great Again” by making major changes to the Department of Education with his controversial appointment of billionaire Betsy DeVos, who announced the rollback of student loan borrowers protections put in place by the Obama administration.

The secretary of education advises the president on education policy and legislation for public and private schools grades K-12. The SOE would also be in charge of federal funding for college in the form of grants, loans and the work-study program.

UCB is the first big pharmaceutical company in the technology hub near Georgia Tech, but it's the 15th innovation center in Tech Square.
Courtesy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tuition at Georgia’s public colleges and universities will increase 2 percent next fall. The university system of Georgia estimates full time, undergraduate students who live in-state will pay an extra $27 to $98 a semester. But some students say even a small price hike could hurt.

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Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods in his office at the state Capitol, Feb. 13, 2015.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods plans to run for another term.

 

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Woods, a Republican, made the announcement in a video Wednesday.

 

The former teacher and administrator in Irwin County won the election in  2014, promising independence from education standards set by the federal government.

 

Andrew Harnik, File / Associated Press

Beyonce is marking the anniversary of her album "Lemonade" by announcing scholarships for black women to attend selected colleges.

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The singer announced that her Formation Scholars Award will go to a single black female student at four schools. The schools are Boston's Berklee College of Music, New York's Parsons School of Design and two historically black colleges, Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta's Spelman College.

Georgia now has its first STEAM-certified school, and it's in DeKalb County.

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On Tuesday, April 18, Henderson Mill Elementary School received the certification. That means it meets all requirements for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and it also offers a strong arts curriculum. Henderson has designated teachers for both music and visual arts.

Pixabay Images

How often do students miss school? Are they ready for college? Are they physically fit? Is their school a welcoming place?

 

States are beginning to outline new ways to evaluate their schools, rather than relying just on traditional measures such as test scores.

 

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The plans are required under a federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2015 and takes effect in the coming school year.

Benjamin G. Brawley Hall on the Morehouse College campus.
Alison Guillory / WABE

New leaders at Morehouse College say the past is behind them. Conflict within the school’s ranks led to the recent ouster of President John Wilson and the shuffling of leadership positions on the board of trustees, including chairman.

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"Part of the change is: how do we move from some levels of dysfunction to a higher level of collaboration in terms of working together?" said Trustee Dale Jones.

Al Such / WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal will soon sign his school turnaround bill into law. The legislation requires the state to provide extra support for struggling schools.

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Education experts say there’s no magic bullet when it comes to improving schools. However, State Superintendent Richard Woods said recently there is one key ingredient.

“I think leadership is probably one of the – if not the – most important factors in making sure our schools succeed,” Woods said.

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Morehouse College has new leadership. The board of trustees voted to remove President John Wilson last week.

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The trustees voted in January not to renew Wilson's contract when it ends in June. The former president drew mixed reactions from faculty, students, and alumni. Some didn't like his decision to cut 150 staff members in an attempt to balance the budget. Others credited Wilson with increasing fundraising and boosting enrollment.

Martha Dalton

On a Monday afternoon at Fulton County’s S.L. Lewis Elementary School, 144 students gather in the gym after dismissal. They are grouped in “nests” of 12 kids each. As they wait for everyone to arrive, they talk excitedly to other students and group leaders.

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Casey Cagle at the Georgia Senate.
Al Such / WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal may be looking forward to signing one of the bills that will soon make its way to his desk. The state Senate approved his plan to turn around low-performing schools Friday in a vote of 37-18.

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House Bill 338, also called the ‘First Priority Act,’ would create turnaround specialists to work with struggling schools. They would evaluate students and provide resources to help them improve.

Martha Dalton

A bill that would require Georgia colleges to report sexual assaults to police is advancing in the Senate. That mandate is controversial.

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Currently, victims can report assaults to law enforcement, but they aren't required to. A federal law, called Title IX, also lets them file a complaint on campus that’s handled by the school. Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, is the bill’s sponsor. He said colleges aren’t equipped to manage such serious cases.

The Georgia Senate is scheduled to hear a proposal Thursday that would allow consumers to bypass a physician's referral when seeking physical therapy.
Ken Lund / flickr.com/kenlund

Gov. Nathan Deal's new plan to turn around struggling schools took another step forward in the Legislature Monday.

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2015 had the highest reported youth suicides in the past five years.
Martha Dalton / WABE

At Edwards Middle School in Rockdale County, one teacher’s lessons have gone viral because of an uncommon method he uses to engage students.

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Eighth  grade social studies teacher David Yancey uses the tunes and beats to songs like “Bad and Boujee” by Migos and Adele’s “Hello” to cap off lessons about American history. 

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods in his office at the state Capitol, Feb. 13, 2015.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal has said his top priority this year is to address struggling schools. That's what House Bill 338 aims to do. The plan creates a "Chief Turnaround Officer" to oversee low-performing schools. But there's disagreement on who that person should report to.

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The bill calls for the person in that new position to report to the state board of education.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

A bill that would bar Georgia’s private colleges from becoming sanctuary campuses passed a key Senate panel Monday.

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Sanctuary campuses are schools that adopt policies that protect undocumented immigrants. No Georgia colleges have such policies right now. Under a bill sponsored by Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, schools that adopt such policies in the future would lose state funding.

Martha Dalton / WABE

Schools in impoverished areas face enormous challenges. Kids often come to school hungry, tired or troubled. Now, Georgia lawmakers are trying to address some of those issues through a new plan to turn those schools around.

A new bill would target schools on a list published yearly by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. One of the lowest-performing schools on this year’s list is DeKalb County’s Flat Shoal’s Elementary School, which is trying to meet the needs of its impoverished student population.

‘They Come With Baggage’

David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia’s university system recently tightened admissions requirements for non-native English speakers. The move comes as colleges are also trying to boost their graduation rates.

To help more students earn diplomas, the system is also trying to reduce the number of remedial education courses it offers.

Population Growth Has Cobb Considering Sales Tax Renewal

Mar 8, 2017

Cobb County says it is going to need to renew a special local option sales tax for education, also known a Ed-SPLOST, because its school district says it’s expecting a lot more students in the next few years.

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The Cobb County School District’s latest projections show more children are being born in the county right now, which will mean in a few years, schools will need to make room for them.

Senator Josh McKoon
Al Such / WABE

Two big pieces of legislation came before Senate education committees at the Capitol Monday. 

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The Senate Higher Education Committee heard a resolution that would change the way Regents, who oversee the university system, are chosen. Right now, the governor appoints all 19 members. State Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, wants them to be elected.

Al Such / WABE

Atlanta Public Schools has begun a partnership with 2020 On-site, a mobile vision center that will work to provide Atlanta students with eye exams and eyewear, according to a recent press release.

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The 2020 On-site program launched on Friday with an eye exam event at Booker T. Washington High School.

Al Such / WABE

The nation's new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, recently faced a storm of criticism, after she issued a statement, in which she hailed historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as "real pioneers when it comes to school choice."

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Georgia Capitol Building
Al Such / WABE

A bill aimed at turning around struggling schools easily passed the Georgia House Wednesday.

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The measure is Gov. Nathan Deal’s second attempt to address the state’s lowest-performing schools. Georgians voted down a proposal that would have let the state take over struggling schools. Opponents of that plan said it would override the authority of local school boards.

Martha Dalton / WABE

The Georgia House approved a bill Tuesday that would increase the amount of money that could go toward Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program. Right now, Georgians who donate to Student Scholarship Organizations, or SSOs, get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit.

Individuals can donate up to $1,000, and there’s a $2,500 limit for couples. The maximum donation for corporations is $10,000. The SSO scholarships are used to send students enrolled in public schools to private ones. 

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