Archive for the ‘Fulton’ Category

The top HOPE Scholarships: Are the best and the brightest in Fulton and Gwinnett? Is rural Georgia shortchanged?

artchangeThe Georgia Senate debated the qualifications to become a Zell Miller scholar this afternoon while discussing House Bill 131, which accords high school students who take dual enrollment college classes the same .5 boost in their final grade that Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate students now earn.

Ultimately, the Senate approved the grade boost for dual enrollment, but voted 33-15 against against an amendment  to change how the Zell Miller Scholarship is calculated so that more rural Georgia students would qualify.

Only one group of Georgia college students — those who graduated high school with a 3.7 or higher GPA  and scored at least 1200 on the math and reading portions of the SAT test or a 26 on the ACT –   now earn full tuition under the changes made to the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship. These students are known as Zell Miller Scholars. Zell Miller is also extended to all high school valedictorians and salutatorians.

State Sen. Jason Carter, …

Continue reading The top HOPE Scholarships: Are the best and the brightest in Fulton and Gwinnett? Is rural Georgia shortchanged? »

Here are state’s AP merit schools: 20 percent of students took AP exams; half or more exams earned 3 or higher

Congrats to Georgia’s AP Merit Schools, which are high schools with at least 20 percent of the student population taking AP exams and at least half of all AP exams earning scores of three or higher.

Special shoutout to Fulton (9), Gwinnett (9) and Cobb (8) for having so many high schools on the list.

ALAN C. POPE HIGH SCHOOL COBB COUNTY

ALPHARETTA HIGH SCHOOL FULTON COUNTY

BERKMAR HIGH SCHOOL GWINNETT COUNTY

BROOKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL GWINNETT

BUFORD HIGH SCHOOL BUFORD CITY

CARLTON J. KELL HIGH SCHOOL COBB

CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL FULTON

CHAMBLEE CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL DEKALB COUNTY

CHATTAHOOCHEE HIGH SCHOOL FULTON

COLUMBUS HIGH SCHOOL MUSCOGEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

DALTON HIGH SCHOOL DALTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

DECATUR HIGH SCHOOL CITY SCHOOLS OF DECATUR

DULUTH HIGH SCHOOL GWINNETT

DUNWOODY HIGH SCHOOL DEKALB

FORSYTH CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL FORSYTH COUNTY SCHOOLS

GREENBRIER HIGH SCHOOL COLUMBIA COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM

GWINNETT SCHOOL OF MATH, SCIENCE, & TECHNOLOGY GWINNETT

HARRISON HIGH SCHOOL …

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As Georgia bleeds high-paying jobs, can education provide a salve?

georgia-road-map-300x334Are the architects of Georgia’s education policies paying close enough attention to the vicissitudes of the state’s job market?

Should they be? Should education policy track job market shifts?

I was disappointed to read that Georgia is losing a startling share of  “premium” jobs, according to a new brief by the Fiscal Research Center of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

Can education reverse the loss of the state’s highest paying jobs? Can we continue to under invest in education given the job trends?

As a state, Georgia came late to the realization that it had to educate its citizens to higher standards. It was content to send kids without a high school diplomas off to mills and farms, but those jobs have dramatically shrunk, and, in some cases, disappeared.

It is interesting to note where the jobs are in Georgia.

Fulton County holds the largest share of jobs. While Fulton represented  17.71 percent of state jobs in 2000, it fell to 16.91 …

Continue reading As Georgia bleeds high-paying jobs, can education provide a salve? »

Fulton school chief: Reflections on Newtown, school safety, balance and life

Robert Avossa

Robert Avossa

Here is a piece by Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa on the tragedy in Newtown:

By Robert Avossa

The recent events in Connecticut have shaken us all, making us realize just how precious a young life is and how we have a great responsibility to protect it. This tragedy is a parent’s and an educator’s worst nightmare.

While parents have always carefully dropped their children off at school or to the bus stop, they may now hesitate, taking one last moment to hug or kiss their child before they send him or her along the way. School employees are now more alert and aware of unusual people and sounds, and law enforcement officers and first responders are extra watchful in protecting those they serve.

Though national headlines have alarmed us, we should be reminded that school violence of this magnitude is very rare. It’s natural to question school safety in the aftermath of such a terrible tragedy, but the reality is that our schools are still one of the safest …

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Race to the Top news: Fulton, Haralson, Morgan and Rockdale are finalists for millions in district grants

The US DOE is busy making news today, including the announcement that the Fulton County Board of Education, Haralson County School System, Morgan County Charter School System and Rockdale County Public Schools are among 61 applications selected as finalists in the Race to the Top-District competition.

Georgia is already a state Race to the Top winner in the state contest, but these systems submitted applications for a pool of money targeting smaller-scale reforms.

In explaining this district-level contest, US DOE says: The Race to the Top District competition will build on the lessons learned from the State-level competitions and support bold, locally directed improvements in teaching and learning that will directly improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness. More specifically, Race to the Top District will reward those LEAs that have the leadership and vision to implement the strategies, structures and systems of support to move beyond one-size–fits-all …

Continue reading Race to the Top news: Fulton, Haralson, Morgan and Rockdale are finalists for millions in district grants »

Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett schools among Blue Ribbon winners honored this week in Washington

Congratulations to these schools and their staffs:

From DOE:

Seven Georgia public schools and one private school were honored Tuesday in Washington, D.C.. at the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools Ceremony held by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools award distinguishes and honors schools for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.

“I congratulate these schools for being recognized as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “The students, teachers and staff of these schools should be proud of their success. These schools are shining examples of what happens when everyone is focused on student learning.”

Blue Ribbon Schools are chosen in two categories. See criteria here.

HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOLS: Schools that scored in the top 10 percent in student achievement.

DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED SCHOOLS: Schools with …

Continue reading Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett schools among Blue Ribbon winners honored this week in Washington »

Response to charter amendment ruling: Wrong decision. “There is a cost.”

Here is a response from former Atlanta councilman Doug Alexander on the Fulton Superior Court ruling yesterday that it was not illegal for Fulton County Schools to post information on the charter school amendment on its web  site. Nor was it illegal for school board members to answer questions on the Nov. 6 amendment vote when asked by constituents.

Judge Wendy Shoob rejected attorney Glenn Delk’s argument that information about the amendment amounted to advocacy and thus an unlawful use of tax funds.

In Delk’s lawsuit, Fulton County Schools and Gwinnett County Public Schools were named as representatives of all 180 school districts in Georgia. The suit, filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County, alleges they and “the rest of the Education Empire are engaged in a coordinated campaign and conspiracy.”

Shoob did not consider the information on the web site advocacy. “They didn’t say we are for or against it,” she said. “They just posted the Q-and-A. I have a hard …

Continue reading Response to charter amendment ruling: Wrong decision. “There is a cost.” »

Court ruling: Fulton can post info on charter amendment

A Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled today that Fulton County Schools can provide information on the charter school amendment on its web site. Attorney and longtime vouchers advocate Glenn Delk maintained that the Fulton County district’s Q&A amounted to lobbying against the amendment.

But Judge Wendy Shoob disagreed, calling the Q&A simply informational.

School districts are bristling at what they consider efforts to silence them on the controversial amendment, which would give the state the power to overrule local districts and approve charter schools that local boards opposed.

“In providing information to the public regarding Amendment 1, I have done nothing wrong or improper,” said Gwinnett school chief  J. Alvin Wilbanks, whose district is facing the same legal challenge.

“These lawsuits are simply another attempt to bully, intimidate, and silence the citizens and public servants who are trying to clarify the amendment in order to counter the misleading language of …

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Charter schools amendment battle moves to court Wednesday. And Olens under fire for selective targeting of amendment foes.

Updated at 11 a.m.

The battle over the charter schools amendment escalated yesterday when attorney Glenn Delk, a longtime champion of vouchers and choice, filed a a lawsuit charging that Georgia school districts were illegally using taxpayer resources to oppose the amendment.

It will be interesting to see how the court responds given how many government officials and entities campaigned for the defeated TSPLOST. (It’s also interesting to note how much political activity and money are going into this charter schools amendment battle.)

Delk had already challenged the legality of even John Barge, the elected Republican school chief in Georgia, taking a public stand on the amendment via his office at the state Department of Education.

As the charter schools amendment battle has heated up, Attorney General Sam Olens issued a warning letter saying that a public agency — which would cover the executive and legislative branches of state government — should not use public funds to try …

Continue reading Charter schools amendment battle moves to court Wednesday. And Olens under fire for selective targeting of amendment foes. »

One answer to “Why are there 42 kids in my child’s class?”

The AJC had an interesting piece this weekend on the inexact science of predicting school enrollments. I cannot link as the story was limited to AJC subscribers and did not appear online.

The gist of the story: Despite reviews of multiple records — census, birth records, housing, dropout and migration — and mathematical formulas, schools can get enrollments wrong. The predictions become even more difficult in a recession when parents are pulling their children out of private schools. (Public school enrollment is up nationwide.)

Here is a short excerpt of the AJC piece, which is worth reading in the Sunday paper:

Cobb County recently spent $2.2 million hiring 30 extra teachers because its projection was low by 1,364 students. Gwinnett’s projection was 2,059 students low. The district is hiring 10 teachers because of the growth, and it transferred 16 teachers and 10 support staff from schools under the projection to those that were over.

DeKalb County broke a record with 98,943 …

Continue reading One answer to “Why are there 42 kids in my child’s class?” »