Education | WABE 90.1 FM


David Goldman / Associated Press

The Georgia Department of Education wants feedback on its latest proposed social studies standards.

If this sounds familiar, it's because this is actually the third edition of the standards, which, when approved, will determine what shows up on students' tests in the 2017 school year.

The previous editions had been revised, respectively, after a wave of public comment and after disagreement from teachers on the state’s social studies review committee.

Georgia State University
Catherine Mullins / WABE

Georgia State University is moving some of its more creative departments out of the College of Arts and Sciences into a brand new College of the Arts next summer.

The founding dean, Wade Weast, was hired last year to bring more attention to the arts and create a dedicated college, separate from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ricky Romero (cropped, color adjusted) /

Thousands of low-income students in nearly two dozen states will soon be able to get federal grants to take college courses while still in high school, part of a program the Obama administration plans to begin this summer.

The experimental program allows high school kids to apply for federal Pell grant money to pay for college courses. The "dual enrollment" program is designed to help students from lower-income backgrounds.

The Education Department says the administration will invest about $20 million in the 2016-17 school year to help about 10,000 students.

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

A new report from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) says enrollment and funding for Georgia’s pre-kindergarten program have dropped. The study also says class sizes are too high, teacher pay is too low and Georgia doesn’t offer enough support for dual language learners.

The study shows Georgia’s Pre-K program enrolled more than 1,000 fewer children during the 2014-15 school year than it did the year before.

Hundreds of Fannin County residents attended a school board meeting to voice concerns over the school system's transgender bathroom policy.

Media outlets report a group of parents marched from a local church to the Fannin County School Board meeting Thursday evening.

Courtesy of Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University is in the process of finding a new leader.

On Tuesday night, KSU President Dr. Dan Papp surprised nearly everyone with an announcement that he is retiring, effective June 30. His announcement came after 43 years with the state university system -- 10 of those as KSU president.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Denis O'Hayer on "Morning Edition," Papp said his retirement was not forced by anyone, and he looked back on his term, which saw rapid expansion and enrollment growth at KSU.

Alan Alfaro (cropped) /

How well do college education programs train future teachers?

The answer depends on who you ask. According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, most programs have room to improve. The council grades states in several areas, including the quality of colleges' teacher training programs.

Lawrence Jackson /

Some White House officials came to town Monday to participate in a town hall meeting about President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative. 

The program focuses on providing opportunities for young people, especially boys of color. It centers around six standards: school readiness; reading on grade level by third grade; graduating from high school ‘college and career ready;’ completing postsecondary education or training; entering the workforce; and keeping kids on track.

Courtesy of Kennesaw State University

The president of Kennesaw State University plans to retire at the end of June.

KSU President Dan Papp says the job has "been a pleasure" for 10 years. In a letter sent to students, faculty and others on Tuesday, Papp highlighted the university's consolidation with the former Southern Polytechnic State University, growing enrollment and the launch of a football program.

University System of Georgia officials thanked Papp for his work during more than 40 years with the system. Chancellor Hank Huckaby credited Papp with making KSU "a world-class university."

Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington Oct. 14, 2015.
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

It is graduation season, and undergraduates at Georgia State University received their diplomas Saturday. The commencement speaker was Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The organization focuses on global health and development and equity in education in the U.S.

Desmond-Hellmann, who is also the former chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco, recently sat down with WABE's Martha Dalton at the Atlanta Grill. Their conversation begins with a summary of the foundation's work in education.

Supporters at the Trump Victory Rally in Atlanta
Al Such / WABE

A college professor in Georgia might make summer school great again.

Starting next week, professor Robert Smith is teaching a college class devoted almost entirely to the candidacy of Donald Trump.

Students at Savannah State University will earn three credit hours for taking "The Trump Factor in American Politics." Smith says they will study Trump's biography, read excerpts from the billionaire's best-seller "The Art of the Deal" and examine how Trump became the presumed Republican presidential nominee with no political experience.

NASA / Wikimedia

Break out the fancy pens and copies of "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" It's graduation season. Here's who's speaking where at the ceremonies in Atlanta.

The Georgia Department of Education has released its College and Career Ready Performance Index scores, which are score cards for Georgia schools.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said she's smiling since the scores were released. Of the 27 low performing APS schools, seven have improved enough to be removed from Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed Opportunity School District list. Schools on the list could be at risk of a state takeover after November.

APS headquarters
Nick Nesmith / WABE

 The Atlanta Public School system's turnaround strategy is underway, and it involves job cuts.

On Monday night, the Atlanta Board of Education unanimously approved a plan that calls for cutting nearly 500 positions.

"We're continuing our goal to right-size the central office by spending less money on central administration and pushing those funds out to the schools," said Pamela Hall, who is head of human resources for the school system.

Teachers have opposed the plan since it was announced.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

President Barack Obama's daughter Malia will take a year off after graduating high school in June before attending Harvard University in 2017, the president and his wife said Sunday in a long-awaited announcement.

Harvard encourages admitted students to defer for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work or spend time in another meaningful way. The student must not enroll in a program at another college that would grant that student a degree.

A report issued by a Georgia Legislative Study Committee on Mental Health shows one in five children have a diagnosable mental health problem. The study shows few of those kids receive appropriate treatment.

In addition, a recent "Kids Count" report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Georgia 37th among states when it comes to child wellness.

Now, state officials and child advocates are trying to figure out how to address the problem.

Elly Yu / WABE

A group of students who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children is suing each member of Georgia's Board of Regents. The group is fighting to pay in-state college tuition rates. The students say they have a "legal presence" in the U.S. through a federal program that temporarily shields them from deportation.

In February, the state Supreme Court rejected a similar case filed by the same students against the board as a whole. The Court said the board had "sovereign immunity" and couldn't be sued.

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 could do a better job preparing its teachers, according to a report from the National Council on Teacher Quality. 

The council grades states on the quality of their teacher training programs. When it comes to producing and retaining effective teachers, Georgia earned a C-plus.

Council President Kate Walsh says Georgia could improve its "student-teaching" programs, where college students teach in K-12 classrooms to gain experience.

Dboybaker /

Feeling safe in school may seem like a basic civil right. But plenty of students ─ especially those of certain faiths and cultures ─ are often harassed and bullied in American schools. There are no federal laws to protect them, and state laws vary.

Often, the attacks don’t stop at the end of the school day.

The Internet has made it easier for "cyberbullies" to work around the clock. Cyberbullying is defined as using electronic communication to bully someone, often by sending intimidating or threatening messages. 

The City of Atlanta is handing over 10 out of 44 property deeds to Atlanta Public Schools.
Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

Part of the Atlanta Public Schools' new turnaround plan involves closing some schools and merging others. The school board approved the plan in anticipation of a November ballot measure that would let the state intervene in under-performing schools. But under APS' plan, the newly-merged schools need new names.

That might sound like a simple process, but the school board has naming policies in place.  

Ga. State Representative Sues US Department Of Education

Apr 22, 2016
Alison Guillory / WABE

A Georgia state representative is suing the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) for using what he calls unconstitutional policies in handling sexual misconduct cases on college campuses.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, filed the suit Thursday, citing lack of due process for those accused of sexual assault or harassment.

Acting Education Secretary Dr. John King, Jr., testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, during his confirmation hearing as the Education Secretary.
Susan Walsh / Associated Press

It's time for a return to a more well-rounded education for schoolchildren — one that spotlights the importance of science, social studies and the arts, Education Secretary John B. King Jr. says.

In remarks prepared for delivery Thursday in Las Vegas, King says some schools have focused too intensely on reading and math and testing in those subjects under the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. It was a complaint King heard before coming to Washington, when he was New York's education commissioner and oversaw the state's elementary and secondary schools.

John Amis, UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences /

The cost of an education at Georgia's 29 public colleges won't be going up this fall for the first time in more than a decade.

The Board of Regents formally voted Wednesday not to increase tuition for the 2016-17 school year.

Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, has said the decision shows the board is "listening to students, their families and legislators" who have voiced concerns about year-over-year tuition hikes in Georgia.

APS headquarters
Nick Nesmith / WABE


In November, voters will decide whether the state should be able to take over underperforming schools. However, officials with the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) aren’t waiting for the vote.

The board of education approved a "school turnaround" plan last month, but some parents at a school board meeting Monday night said the district has ignored their concerns.  

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

Georgia's education system could see some dramatic changes in the next two years, as Gov. Nathan Deal shifts his first-term focus on prisons and courts to education.

Voters will decide in November whether to approve Deal's proposed constitutional amendment to allow the state to take over chronically failing schools. The state's education and teacher organizations oppose the amendment and are gearing up for a fight.

Students and teacher work in the robotics class at Charles R. Drew Charter School Elementary Academy.
Courtesy of East Lake Foundation

Local school districts are looking to hire hundreds of teachers to start work next fall. But state officials say there's a "teacher dropout crisis" in Georgia; almost half of them leave within five years.

WABE's Martha Dalton spoke about the issue with Tyler Gwynn, a recruiter for the Cobb County schools. The conversation starts with the challenge of keeping good teachers once they're hired.

An effort to build a free online database of Holocaust victims and survivors has reached a milestone.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and announced Friday that records of 1 million people persecuted by the Nazis are now available to be searched.

The crowd-sourced database was launched in 2011 and is known as the World Memory Project. Volunteer contributors from around the world have been indexing materials from the museum's archive so people can be added to the database and searched easily by name.

Martha Dalton / WABE

It’s a safe bet that most teachers don’t enter the profession to get wealthy. Still, some school districts have tried to entice teachers to take hard-to-fill jobs by offering financial incentives.  

For example, the Fulton County Schools offered signing bonuses this year to teachers willing to work in "critical needs" areas. Those include math, science, special education and foreign language teaching jobs, as well as positions in schools with low-income populations.

But it’s unclear whether that approach is an effective long-term solution.

The Atlantic Coast Conference may be known for athletics, but a different sort of competition is happening this week in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech is playing host to the ACC InVenture competition, which highlights entrepreneurial ideas and innovations from each of the 15 ACC schools.

The team's pitches will be judged based on entrepreneurship, business model, quality of the idea and the probability of becoming a successful business.

First-place in the contest will win $15,000 and the second place finisher will win $10,000.

Fulton County Schools

The Fulton County School Board Thursday offered Dr. Jeff Rose of the Beaverton, Oregon School District the job of superintendent. The move came after a required two-week public comment period. 

Rose was the first candidate the school board interviewed for the position. Board President Linda McCain said he made a good impression.

“As we interviewed him and got to know him, it became very clear that his leadership style and the way that he could articulate his philosophy and his passion for education would be a great asset to all the students in Fulton County," she said.