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Lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to a midyear budget that would add $300 million in new spending, including an extra $5.5 million to help pay for emergency services during the recent snow and ice storms.
FULL ARTICLE HERE  |  AJC WATCHDOG: Winter storm report card  |  2014 WInter storms: State of Emergency

Is anyone worried how students will fare on EOCTs and other tests after all the snow days?

Is anyone else worried about how metro Atlanta students will fare on state tests given the time out of school this winter due to cold, ice and snow? Counting two days off in early January for the cold, three-and-a-half days off for the snowstorm later in the month and ice-related ...

Parents and students embrace along School Road near Franklin Regional High School after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp)

A tragedy in a Pennsylvania high school. Some wise words from a police chief in Ohio.

Many people, especially those in Murrysville, are trying to understand what drove a 16-year-old to a stabbing frenzy at Franklin Regional High School in which 22 students and staff suffered injuries, some life threatening. I've been reading online updates in Pennsylvania newspapers, most of which allow readers to comment.   ...

Cherokee school board member Kelly Marlow listens to her defense attorney Brian Steel present her case during a hearing Thursday, November 14, 2013.

Guest column: Beware the anti public school rhetoric in Cherokee. (And everywhere else)

I want to share an essay by Get Schooled contributor John Konop of Cherokee County on choosing wisely when electing local officials come November. Konop is a Cherokee parent and business owner.  But I also wanted to share some news about Cherokee schools that broke this week. According to AJC.com ...

October 18, 2012 - Atlanta, GA: Gwinnett Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks speaks during the Gwinnett School Board work session on Thursday, Oct. 18.

What are Gwinnett schools doing right? What can we learn from them? District finalist for top prize.

I am not surprised that Gwinnett Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks did not run for state school chief given the limits and challenges of that position, but the state still has something to learn from Gwinnett County about managing change and narrowing the achievement gap. (Speaking of school chiefs, Cobb will ...

An online teacher touts the benefits of virtual classrooms

Diane Davis is a schoolteacher for an international online school.  She teaches French to children grades p-12 all over the world.  (A Gwinnett mother of nine, Davis was the subject of a 2006 feature in the AJC on homeschooling her children.) By Diane Davis No discipline problems. No overhead costs. Maximum student ...

Graduates of the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology in Lawrenceville had a 100 percent passing rate on four portions of the graduation test on English/language arts, math, science and social studies.

The state's most challenging high school? Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology

Education writer and author Jay Mathews of the Washington Post is out with his annual Most Challenging High Schools index, which he describes as an effort to recognize schools that challenge average students. The index excludes top-performing schools that he concludes enroll few or no average students because of their ...

April Fools' Day births a great college prank

Here is a clever prank played on Aquinas College macroeconomics professor Stephen Barrows, who maintains a policy that students who receive a call during class must put it on speakerphone for everyone to hear. Students had fun with that policy on April Fools' Day. (Based on interviews I’ve seen, Barrows ...

Former Atlanta mayor and United Nations ambassador Andrew Young speaks at a court hearing where Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter heard arguments on Monday whether to grant former Atlanta schools superintendent Beverly Hall's request to delay her trial on racketeering charges. Hall is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Former Atlanta mayor calls for mercy for ill Beverly Hall in Atlanta Public Schools cheating case

Former Atlanta Mayor Andy Young made an impassioned plea today on behalf of indicted former APS school chief Beverly Hall, who is suffering from what her doctor says is terminal cancer. Her attorney wants her trial delayed in light of her illness. The AJC’s Bill Rankin was in court today ...

Rising college costs? Where's the money going? Report says athletics, administrative bloat.

A new report from the American Association of University Professors compares college and university spending on athletics and academics and finds sports and coaches come out far ahead. A summary of  Losing Focus: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2013–14, states: Between 2003–04 and 2010–11, inflation-adjusted ...

State announces finalists for state Teacher of the Year

From DOE: State School Superintendent John Barge today announced the finalists for 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year. The 10 finalists were chosen from a pool of 156 applicants who were selected as the Teacher of the Year in their representative school districts. The applications were read by a panel ...

APS educator Elisha Gray

Great Georgia Teachers: Atlanta's Elisha Gray. 'I see abilities, not disabilities.'

I am delighted to share a new piece by frequent Get Schooled contributor and University of Georgia professor Peter Smagorinsky in his ongoing Great Georgia Teachers series. By Peter Smagorinksy I’ve heard something like the following many times from people who go into teaching: “Before I knew teaching was a ...

To test or not to test: Should parents decide?

The media spend a lot of time reporting on the anti-testing movement and the increasing numbers of parents requesting their children sit out standardized testing. The most notable example is New York City, where middle-class parents are leading the fledgling movement to opt out of high-stakes testing.  (See this New ...

Lawsuit: Private school scholarships serve no public good and violate constitution

In 2008, Legislators enacted a scholarship tax credit program --- that has since come under fire for blatant abuses --- that subsidizes private-school tuition. Thus far, the program has diverted $300 million from the state treasury. The law allows corporate and individual taxpayers to give a portion of their taxes ...

State approves education evaluations that weigh student performance

Georgia officially approved a new teacher/administrator evaluation system today that has exemplary as the highest rating. Will anyone reach that level? (Apparently, DeKalb has 83 exemplary teachers among its 6,500 teachers, according to a comment below from school-member-elect Stan Jester.) I wanted to share a note from a teacher questioning ...

Undocumented students at the Gold Dome last year protested a Regents policy that locks them out of the five largest universities in Georgia. Miguel Martinez/Mundo Hispanico

Regents policy on undocumented students forces a DeKalb valedictorian out of state for college

Josh Delaney of Fayetteville is a former DeKalb County high school teacher, former University of Georgia SGA President and current graduate student at Harvard University Graduate School of Education where he is studying education policy and management. (I hope he comes back to fix some education policies here in Georgia.) ...

DeKalb imposes penality on teachers who quit last-minute. Good idea or bad karma?

I’ve been getting a lot of emails from DeKalb teachers upset over a penalty clause in their new contracts fining them $750 if they renege on their employment pact. "Surely, you plan on writing a piece on the DeKalb teacher contracts, I hope. Our parents need to know the kind ...


Combating bullying in schools: It takes a village and a friend

I am sharing a release from UCLA on a new study of bullying prevention efforts in schools A key point in the study: Victims of bullying are often kids without friends to defend them. They are kids who eat lunch alone.  (I have interviewed enough experts and victims of bullying ...

American students above average in problem-solving, but Asia still dominates

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released its first assessments of the problem-solving skills and creative skills that CEOs maintain are critical to the new global workforce and an information-based econony. U.S. students scored above the average in their ability to apply knowledge to a series of problems and ...

Testing students and judging teachers: Georgia could adopt new teacher evaluation this week

AJC education writer Wayne Washington reports the state Board of Education could give final approval this week to a new evaluation system for teachers and administrators that incorporates the academic performance of students. If the state school board gives its blessing Thursday, every district in the state would go to ...

NEW SUPERINTENDENT FOR APS--MARCH 27, 2014 ATLANTA Dr Meria Carstarphen hugs Hope-Hill Elementary School third graders Damari McGoogle, 9 (left) and Azariah Usher, 8, after the press conference Thursday. Atlanta Public Schools presented Dr. Carstarphen as the finalist for the job of superintendent after a national search, Thursday, March 27, 2014. Carstarphen, 44, the superintendent of the Austin Independent School District for the past five years, is the sole finalist to become superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

A new day and a new leader for Atlanta Public Schools. But challenges loom.

I came home from serving on an education panel in Grant Park last night where Atlanta Public Schools parents were excited about the new superintendent announced earlier in the day. APS parents have every right to be delighted in the choice of Meria Carstarphen, who now leads the Austin, Texas, ...

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MyAJC top 5 in Five Minutes: April 23, 2014

Photos: MyAJC's top 5 in Five Minutes — April 23, 2014

MyAJC's Top 5 in Five Minutes is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's daily look at the top stories and upcoming events that will be the talk of the town in metro Atlanta.

Offseason workouts set to start at Flowery Branch

Falcons’ Smith saw warning signs in training camp

Mike Smith can admit it now: He got a little too drunk on success. It happens when you win a bunch of games.

April 20, 2014

Twitter fed DeKalb cookout that ended in shooting

Chardonae Meeks thought an outdoor cookout at Wade Walker Park would be the perfect way to chill with some friends on a Sunday afternoon.

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