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Ga. high school students take longer to earn diplomas

ATLANTA -- A new method of calculating graduation rates reveals that more high school students are dropping out than had been previously counted and some of them are taking five or even six years to earn a diploma.

According to reports the new formula was released last week. It shows that Georgia's 2011 graduation rate dropped 13 percentage points using the calculation, to 67.4 percent.

RELATED | Compare graduation rates by school

Last chance to vote on new DeKalb school calendar

Last chance to vote on new DeKalb school calendar

DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School District is considering a new school calendar that would include early dismissals every Wednesday.

Parents are being encouraged to vote online for one of three proposed calendars for the 2012-2013 school year.

All three calendars call for classes to end one hour earlier on Wednesdays.

One of the options is a modified school calendar that would start on August 1st. It would include four one-week breaks during the school year, with a two-week break at Christmas.

The proposals were developed by a calendar committee, formed at the request of DeKalb Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson.

The committee included parents, teachers, principals, district office staff, and community partners. 

Nearly 90 metro Atlanta schools near bottom of barrel

Nearly 90 metro Atlanta schools near bottom of barrel

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education has released a list of 156 schools labeled as "focus" schools under the state's new accountability system.

The schools, many of which are in metro Atlanta, are one step above the state's worst performing schools, called "priority" schools, which were released last week. The "focus" schools are ones with a graduation rate of less than 60 percent over two years or have large gaps between the highest and lowest achieving subgroup of students on campus.

Subgroups can be determined by race, special needs and family income.

The state was one of 10 to win waivers last month from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Bill would revoke bonuses for teachers caught cheating

Bill would revoke bonuses for teachers caught cheating

ATLANTA -- A Senate committee has passed a bill that would revoke bonuses for Georgia teachers who cheat on standardized tests.

The Democratic-backed legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate education committee Monday. It now goes to the full Senate for a vote before heading to the governor's desk.

Under current policy, teachers can receive bonuses or incentive pay based on the standardized test scores of their students.

The bill stems from last year's cheating scandal in Atlanta Public Schools.

A state investigation in July revealed widespread cheating by educators in nearly half of the Atlanta's 100 schools dating to 2001. In all, nearly 180 teachers and principals were accused of giving answers to students or changing responses once the tests had been completed.

Nearly 40 metro schools among worst performing

Nearly 40 metro schools among worst performing

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education has released a list of the 78 worst performing schools in the state as part of its waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Nearly half of those schools are in the Metro Atlanta area. Of the schools listed, 14 are Atlanta Public Schools, nine are in DeKalb County and three are in Gwinnett County. Fulton and Cobb County each have one school on the list.

The list identifies the state's "priority" schools -- those that consistently perform poorly on tests, have low graduation rates or are already receiving federal improvement funds.

To be considered a "Priority School," one would have a graduation rate of 60 percent or less for two consecutive years, have low achievement on standardized tests or receive School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to implement a school intervention model.

Clean Commute Week continues today with "GA Walk to School Day"

Clean Commute Week continues today with "GA Walk to School Day"

Atlanta - This week (March 5-9) is officially Clean Commute Week, where the Clean Air Campaign challenges K-12 schools across the state to raise "awareness of clean commute options and to explore ways to reduce the number of idling cars in school zones."  
Monday - Ride the Bus
Tuesday- Bike or ride a scooter
Wednesday- Georgia Walk to School Day
Thursday- Carpool
Friday- Commute using any clean mode

 

The week is designed to provide Georgia schools with a platform to share the benefits of commute alternatives with their school communities and highlight clean transportation, including bus riding, biking, walking, carpooling and no idling.  These options help reduce smog-forming emissions that come from vehicle tailpipes. Schools can choose one or more green travel methods to promote throughout the week.

DEKALB COUNTY | Lack of communication may be behind $41M shortfall

DEKALB COUNTY | Lack of communication may be behind $41M shortfall

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (WXIA) -- The DeKalb County Board of Education told taxpayers Wednesday of a $41 million shortfall in funding for major school projects. Ten million dollars of that shortfall was tied to a single school -- Chamblee Charter High School.

Word emerged Thursday of the board being forced cut costs on 113 ongoing projects and shelving some 35 others.

"I'm furious," said board member Nancy Jester. "It's not that they money is not there but that it is underpriced. I am very disappointed. I am livid about it."