Education | WABE 90.1 FM


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

According to a new report from and New America, sending your child to a daycare center for a year in Georgia costs, on average, more than one year of in-state tuition at a public college.

Last week saw a spike in reports of protests on Atlanta area high school campuses. Students are participating in a sit-in in Fulton County schools, DeKalb athletes are threatening to take a knee at football games and Gwinnett students are skipping class to join prayer circles – all protesting racial inequality and incidents of police violence.

So far, school officials appear to be treading carefully. DeKalb and Fulton County's school systems say they support students' political expression as long as it's not disruptive.

Martha Dalton / WABE

Feeling accepted at college can be a big issue — especially for minority students. Even on campuses with high minority populations, it’s easy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students to feel isolated. That’s why The Human Rights Campaign is urging inclusiveness of LGBTQ students at historically black colleges and universities.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Opposition to Gov. Nathan Deal's school takeover plan continues to grow.

The DeKalb County school board voted Monday to urge its residents to vote "no" on the ballot measure.  The 5-1 decision makes DeKalb the largest school district, so far, to take a stand against the ballot measure.

Deal’s proposed Opportunity School District would create a state-run school system that would manage so-called “chronically failing” schools, or schools that earn an “F” for three consecutive years on the state’s report card.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Do minority high school students in the city of Marietta get the same quality of education as their white counterparts? A federal complaint filed against the school district says "no."

A parent, a retired teacher and social justice advocates want the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights to investigate what they say are policies which effectively widen an achievement gap between white and non-white students.

Martha Dalton / WABE

Some school-aged children count down the minutes until recess. But climbing across the monkey bars and going down the slide can be tough for kids with disabilities. That’s why Atlanta Public Schools kindergarten teacher Emily Max wanted to build an “inclusive” playground at her school, Toomer Elementary School.

Max developed the playground for a graduate school assignment. The task was to look at the world through the lens of someone with a disability and develop a project that would make a difference. Max focused on the school's social hub: the playground.

The federal education law replacing No Child Left Behind requires each state to submit a long-term plan to address issues like testing, accountability, and help for struggling students. More than 200 people came to a meeting in Fulton County Wednesday night to give input on Georgia’s proposal. The gathering was one of eight being held around the state.

Fulton County school board member Katie Reeves said Georgia’s plan should give schools the authority to make some decisions.

Some Georgia voters will receive absentee ballots next week, marking the start of the fall election season. One of the issues before them will be a measure called Amendment One. The ballot question asks whether the Georgia Constitution should be changed to allow the state to take over so-called “chronically failing” schools. That would include any public school that scored an F on the state’s report card for three consecutive years.

deepcove / Pixabay

The DeKalb County School District says it will test all of its water sources for lead. Officials say it’s a proactive move and wasn’t prompted by an incident in the school system. DeKalb Superintendent Stephen Green said the district had been conducting random tests, but lately administrators questioned that approach.

An Atlanta Public Schools school bus
Alison Guillory / WABE

This story has been updated with APS response on Sept. 16, 2016 at 2:27 p.m.

Alison Guillory / WABE

According to Georgia Tech’s informal reports, the university has had fewer deaths by suicide per year than the national average for schools of its size.

But the university’s leaders are now working to eliminate all suicides with a new campaign: Tech Ends Suicide Together.

Georgia Tech would be one of the first schools in the United States to adapt and implement a model used in health care settings.

Zero Suicides

The University of Georgia arch in Athens, Georgia on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (Photo/Brenna Beech)
Brenna Beech / WABE

According to a new report from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, Georgia’s HOPE scholarship is working well for some college students, but there are many more who need financial aid and aren’t getting it. The report found about a third of Georgia's public college students receive HOPE or Zell Miller scholarships. Out of the recipients, 30 percent are from low-income homes and 41 percent are from middle-income families.

Michael Conroy / Associated Press

ITT Technical Institute is closing its four campuses in the metro Atlanta area, along with dozens of others across the country, becoming the latest for-profit school to shut down after federal scrutiny.

Katie Peace said she graduated from ITT Technical Institute’s Kennesaw campus with a degree in science and criminal justice four years ago. This week, she, like many students and alumni, heard the news that the college was shutting down.

“How could I have wasted two years in a school that now is nothing?” she said.

Peace said she’s worried about her credentials.

Drew Senior Academy students in front of the Charles R. Drew Charter School Junior & Senior Academy
Courtesy of East Lake Foundation

The Atlanta Public Schools began this year with a new turnaround plan for some of its low-performing schools. But at a school board meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen admitted APS has to overcome some big hurdles for the plan to succeed.

The initiative involves merging some schools, closing others, putting health clinics on a few campuses, creating science and technology academies, and hiring extra tutors. Despite the additional resources, Carstarphen said it will take a tremendous amount of effort to see improvement in student performance.

Gov. Nathan Deal signs legislation to create an Opportunity School District in Georgia. The measure would allow the state to step in and help underperforming schools if voters approve it in the fall.
Brenna Beach / WABE

In November, voters will decide whether the state should be able to take over schools it considers “chronically failing.”

Gov. Nathan Deal championed the proposal, which is based on similar plans in Louisiana and Tennessee. But some local school boards are making it clear they’re not OK  with the possibility of losing control of their schools.

How To Be Frugal During And After High School

Aug 29, 2016
courtesy of Vox

Everyone knows college is expensive. You might not know that the years before college can be, too. Luckily, there are ways to save before you’re truly inaugurated as a broke college student. If you’re living at your parents’ house before going to college, consider helping out by getting a job or taking up extra chores. A lot of parents consider high school graduation as your first step into adulthood, and with more freedom comes more responsibility.


Martha Dalton / WABE

As U.S. immigrant populations have grown, some education experts say schools have had a hard time figuring out which students need help learning English. Many school districts rely on a Home Language Survey to decide whether a student should be tested for special classes for English Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL. But some parents in the Atlanta area say that screening process has meant their children, who speak fluent English, have been unnecessarily targeted. 

A Surprising Start

GSU Winter 2015
Alison Guillory / WABE

Monday is the first day of class at Atlanta's largest universities and Georgia State University and Georgia Tech both report a record number of applications this year.

GSU says they're up 29 percent from last year. That's produced the school's largest freshman class ever with more than 3,500 new Panthers.  They also have the best average high school GPA in the school's history.

Georgia Law Schools Seeing Enrollment Declining

Aug 19, 2016

The Great Recession has had both positive and negative impacts on law schools in Georgia and across the country. Enrollments swelled at the height of the downturn, as newly minted college graduates unable to find jobs sought to extend their educations. But since peaking at the beginning of this decade, law school enrollments have been declining.

The University of Georgia's Science Learning Center cost $48 million and includes 33 labs and two 280-seat lecture halls.
Rick O'Quinn / UGA

The University of Georgia is holding a dedication ceremony Wednesday on a new $48 million science learning center.

The science learning center will have 33 labs, and it's purposely designed to get students talking and working together.

It includes flexible chairs in the auditorium and tables with computers strategically placed throughout the lecture rooms. 

 A private developer Corvias Campus Living built Georgia State University's newest dorm, Piedmont Central on Piedmont and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. The developer will not have to pay local property taxes and can collect rent from students.
Courtesy of Georgia State University

Georgia State University's newest dormitory on Piedmont and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue is called Piedmont Central. 

It's the first dorm at Georgia State University to be built under a new public-private partnership.

The University System of Georgia has accumulated billions of dollars in debt trying to keep up with student housing demand.

A sign marks the entrance to a gender neutral restroom at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Georgia is one of 13 states trying to stop a directive from the Obama Administration regarding transgender students.

Last spring, the U.S. Education and Justice Departments issued guidance for schools saying, among other things, transgender students must be allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. Schools that don’t comply risk losing federal dollars.

Brenna Beech / WABE

Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program has struggled to keep up with demand in recent years. Now, a new report says HOPE could run out of money by the time today’s pre-kindergarten students are in college. The study was issued by a group  of private businesses, called The Committee to Preserve HOPE Scholarships. It says the program could run a deficit by the year 2028.

Hank Huckaby sits in for an interview at WABE on Aug. 4, 2015.
Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

The leader of Georgia's university system announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the year, closing a term of more than five years.

Hank Huckaby said in a statement that the system has a bright future. Huckaby first announced his plans Wednesday morning at a Board of Regents meeting in Atlanta.

Niranjan Shrestha / Associated Press file

A coalition of LGBT advocacy groups wants to make sure transgender students are treated fairly in Georgia schools. So, it’s developed an online resource called the “Transgender Students Rights Watch.”

It’s an online tool that lets students report incidents of discrimination and get free legal advice. Everyone who uses the site will get a response.

Courtesy of Rob Felt/Georgia Tech

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite. In 1958, the United States followed with Explorer 1.

Today, there are more than 1,000 of these large satellites revolving around the Earth sending radio signals back to us, which get converted into pictures of the oceans, weather forecasts and even DISH TV.

Many of these satellites are the size of a 7,000-pound hippo and can take decades to design and build.

Martha Dalton / WABE

School started this week for some students in the Atlanta area. Students in Gwinnett, Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb counties will head back to campus Monday.

To get the word out Friday morning, DeKalb Schools Superintendent Stephen Green hit the streets ... and the sidewalks.

Green conducted what he calls a “Knock, Walk, and Talk.”

He walked up to residents’ doors, knocked and then talked.

Program Brings German-Style Apprenticeship Training To Ga.

Aug 3, 2016

Would you send your 15-year-old child to work in a factory?

Some families in Georgia decided to do so, and their children are among the first in the United States who will work and go to school following a German-style curriculum.

The 10 first apprentices in industrial mechanics were honored in a ceremony at the Georgia Capitol this week, because it took a change in state law and nearly five years to make it happen.

Jonathan Bachman, File / Associated Press

A political group called The Satanic Temple is looking to add what it calls an "After School Satan Club" at Still Elementary in Powder Springs

The Cobb County public school does not currently have an “After School Satan Club” but it has found itself in the middle of a discussion about the separation of church and state.

Musician and barista Jed Drummond said he co-founded the Atlanta chapter of the Satanic Temple two months ago.

APS headquarters
Nick Nesmith / WABE

When students in the Atlanta Public Schools head back to class Wednesday, some will see big changes. Some schools will have new science and math programs, others will offer services like on-campus health clinics and tutoring. The changes are part of an ambitious "turnaround" plan aimed at boosting achievement in the district’s lowest-performing schools.