Education | WABE 90.1 FM


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.

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

State officials released scores for the 2016 Georgia Milestones Assessment Tuesday.

The results divide students into one of four categories: beginning learners, developing learners, proficient learners and distinguished learners. Overall, scores for middle and high school students showed moderate improvement from last year, while results for elementary schools remained flat. 

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his State of the State address on the House floor at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s criminal justice reform plan takes aim at the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

“The ultimate criminal justice reform is education reform,” Deal said during a recent public appearance.

In a Friday, May 6, 2016 photo, LSU medical student Felicia Venable, left, examines a patient as fellow students and medical residents observe during daily rounds at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

The U.S. could face a shortage of 95,000 physicians in the next ten years, according to a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The association also predicts Georgia could have the fewest number of doctors per capita by the year 2020 if it doesn’t expand its medical education programs.

Courtesy of DeKalb County Schools

It's been a year since the DeKalb County Schools hired Dr. R. Stephen Green to lead Georgia's third-largest school system.

Green hailed from the Kansas City, Missouri, schools, which went through accreditation problems similar to DeKalb's. DeKalb became fully accredited in February, after serious sanctions from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools due to poor management and governance.

Recently, Green sat down with WABE's Martha Dalton to talk about his first year as DeKalb's schools chief and his plans for this year.


Stabilizing Atlanta neighborhoods will play a key role in turning some schools around, according to Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen.

Carstarphen spoke to reporters at a media roundtable. She touted the district's school turnaround plan, which targets the district's lowest-performing schools. The plan includes merging some schools, closing others and offering wrap-around services to families, like community health clinics on school campuses. 

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

In response to unsafe lead levels in the water supply in Flint, Michigan, the Atlanta Public Schools decided to test its water sources for lead. The district has received about half the results. So far, most sources have tested within acceptable levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency. Sources with lead levels above the federal limit are taken out of commission.

“We immediately move that area from any kind of public consumption,” said Pat St. Claire, Atlanta Public Schools' executive director of communications.

Pokemon Go at Oakland
Kyra Semien

Since last week, several museums and cemeteries in Atlanta have noticed large crowds of teenagers and young adults showing up.

Most aren't there primarily to learn about history or to pay their respects to the dead, but swiping their phones while they play a game on it.

Pokemon Go is a mobile app that requires players to physically visit sites to catch fictional creatures called Pokemon and uses a technology called augmented reality, where images and sounds are added to what you see in front of you.

Jaime Henry-White / Associated Press

When schools don't meet state standards, should the government be able to intervene? That question will appear before voters in November. The Opportunity School District, pitched by Gov. Nathan Deal, would set up a state agency to run schools that have earned an F on the state's report card for three consecutive years.

A coalition of groups, called the Committee to Keep Georgia Schools Local, is planning to launch a campaign against the proposal, called OSD for short.

Gene Blythe / Associated Press

Georgia's early education teachers needs a raise. That’s one of the findings of a new report from the University of California at Berkeley.

The Early Childhood Workforce Index says most states don’t pay early education teachers well enough. Megan Gunnar, a professor of childhood development at the University of Minnesota, helped develop the index. She says it takes strong teachers to work with kids under the age of five.

In this Nov. 20, 2014 photo, eight grader Aklya Thomas and teacher Faren Fransworth use a digital textbook to during a math class at Burney Harris Lyons Middle School in Athens, Ga.
John Bazemore / Associated Press

Georgia will soon get $16 million in federal money through what’s known as the School Improvement Grant program, or SIG. The program aims to turn around states’ lowest-performing schools.

Schools that participate have to adopt one of four improvement models. For example, some administrators and teachers might be replaced; a school might convert to a charter school; or it could shut down and reopen under different leadership.