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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

Georgia Spelling Bee Competition

Georgia Spelling Bee Competition

DOWNTOWN --  After a grueling 20 Round Spelling Bee which lasted to over 250 words, Simola Nayak from Henderson Middle School was named the winner after spelling "tautologous".  Simola is 13 years of age and in the 8th grade.  Her opponent is a familiar competitor who she ha sparred with in the past.  Andalib Malit Samandari is from the same district, same age, same grade, yet attends Renfroe Middle School.

It was a hard fought battle, but the 2 fully enjoyed it and Simola could not hide her excitement that now she will represent Georgia in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC in late May.

The following are the nine [GAE] districts’ and the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) winners and runners-up:

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."