Education

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee are all graduates of historically black colleges and universities. For more than a century, HBCUs provided the foundation for countless dynamic and influential leaders. Now, some academic finance experts predict that a quarter of those schools could be gone within 20 years.


Beacon Press

Research has shown students do better in school when they have teachers who look like them. They also report feeling more cared for; more interested and invested in their schoolwork; and more confident in their teachers' abilities to communicate with them. But for a growing number of American schoolchildren, that's not the case – because while more than half of American public school students are not white, the vast majority of their teachers are.

That dynamic is one of many factors that has led to what University of Georgia professor Bettina Love calls the educational survival complex – a system in which educational reformers train students with test-taking skills to get them to the next grade. Instead, as Love argues in her new book We Want To Do More Than Survive, educators should infuse their approach with the "urgency of an abolitionist," teaching about racial violence and oppression as well as resistance, joy and social change.


The University of Tennessee is making a big promise: Starting in 2020, the system will offer free tuition to qualifying low-income students enrolling at its Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin campuses.

The program, called UT Promise, is the first of its kind among public universities in the South. UT Interim President Randy Boyd, a first-generation college graduate himself, is the architect of the program. Boyd joined On Second Thought from WUOT in Knoxville to explain why Tennessee is making this promise, how the university will fund it and how other Southern states could follow suit. 

 


Jared Rodriguez / Truthout / Flickr

The University of Tennessee is making a big promise: Starting in 2020, the system will offer free tuition to qualifying low-income students enrolling at its Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin campuses.

The program, called UT Promise, is the first of its kind among public universities in the South. UT Interim President Randy Boyd, a first-generation college graduate himself, is the architect of the program. Boyd joined On Second Thought from WUOT in Knoxville to explain why Tennessee is making this promise, how the university will fund it and how other Southern states could follow suit. 


La'Raven Taylor/GPB

You may have heard of Ruby Bridges or the "Little Rock Nine" walking through a gauntlet of jeering protestors as they made their way to school. Just a few states over in Georgia, Dr. Michael McBay was among less-photographed pioneers.

In 1967, McBay along with six other students were among the first African-American students to attend the Westminster Schools, an elite private school in Buckhead. McBay's younger brother, Ron, later enrolled at Westminster Schools in 1968. Shortly after, Vic Bolton enrolled in the institution.


Pixabay

Precocious students from around the state gathered in Atlanta on March 15 for the Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee. The winner could advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington in May.

We asked a few of the champion spellers to share their secrets for successful spelling. Braden Flournoy, Ananya Augustine and Abhi Kapaganty also told us their favorite words to spell. 


Friday, March 8, is International Women's Day. To mark the occasion, "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott is moderating a panel of powerful women at GPB


Donna Lowry / GPB

Students who suffer from bullying, have been adopted from foster care, live in poverty or have a specified disability may be part of a group that would qualify for a state-funded private school voucher to provide alternatives to public education


Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr. is the second superintendent from Georgia since 2015 to win the national honor. He spoke with "On Second Thought" about the honor and reflected on how, in a relatively short time, he has rebuilt trust with the community, improved student success and created a positive culture for teachers and staff.

He also shared his priorities for the future of education in Georgia.

 


Courtesy Bibb County School District

Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr. was met with a standing ovation when he walked into work after the Presidents Day holiday. Over the weekend, the Bibb County School District superintendent was named National Superintendent of the Year.

Jones is the second superintendent from Georgia since 2015 to win the national honor. 


Millions of Americans are teetering on the brink of poverty, according to a new report from Prosperity Now that says 40 percent of all U.S. households – and 57 percent of households of color – could be knocked over the edge by one unexpected medical expense, lost paycheck or job loss.

That financial instability is mirrored in housing insecurity, and, while homelessness in Atlanta is on the decline, Fulton County remains by far the highest among the national benchmark counties, according to the Department for Housing and Urban Development. 

 


Courtesy of Emiko Soltis/Freedom Univ.

The federal government remains open.  President Trump has declared a state of emergency to build a border wall, and the structure's future is now up to the courts.  The president had been using the potential extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to try to sway Democrats toward his fiscal plan.  Now, the future of that program is unclear.

That political uncertainty permeates life at Atlanta's Freedom University. It provides college prep and leadership development classes for undocumented students in Georgia. "On Second Thought" invited Freedom University executive director Emiko Soltis to speak about the university and its mission. DACA recipients Arizbeth Sanchez and Raymond Partolan also joined the conversation.


Flickr/Todd Petrie

State lawmakers are hoping to bring changes to homeschool reporting in Georgia. This, after two children were found dead and buried behind their family's home in Effingham County.


INA-DENIA / Wikimedia Commons

Speaking more than one language benefits academic achievement, cognitive abilities and cultural awareness. Multilingual candidates also stand out to employers, whose demand for bilingual workers more than doubled between 2010-2015. Still, the United States lags behind other countries when it comes to world language education. Nationwide, just 20 percent of students are enrolled in language classes.

In the Southeast, however, Georgia leads the region with 22 percent of students studying another language in school. That's according to the American Councils for International Education.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

Tonja Khabir and Katie Powers both work in the world of non-profit philanthropy. In this Macon Conversation, Khabir and Powers talk about the need for educational equity that crosses boundaries of race and economy as well as how race affects the autonomy you have over your own body.

Some rural Georgia schools will benefit from an infusion of grant money for art education. Twenty-six rural school districts, mostly located south of metro Atlanta, will split $260,000 in grant money.

 

 

SCAD Savannah College of Art and Design

The number of new international students attending United States colleges has declined in the last two years, but not in Georgia. 

 


The parent company of one of the nation’s largest for-profit college chains has abruptly closed all its campuses, including four in Georgia. 

Education Corporation of America announced it’s the last week of classes for about 20,000 students, including those at their Virginia College campuses in Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah. 


Courtesy Next Generation Men and Women

Georgia’s high school graduation rate has increased over the past several years. For the second year in a row, the state’s graduation rate is above 80 percent. That’s according to the Georgia Department of Education.


Courtesy of March for Science Atlanta

The National Science Foundation awarded Morehouse College a new $1.5 million grant to increase student recruitment and retention in STEM fields. According to a Pew research study, black and Latinx professionals are underrepresented in STEM careers. Black professionals make up only nine percent of the total STEM workforce.

The grant will go towards a collaborative program with more than 20 HBCUs around the country, led by Morehouse's HBCU Identity Research Center. The program will fund research into enhancing students' resiliency and identies as future scientists.

Lycurgus Muldrow, executive director of the HBCU Identity Research Center, joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the impact of the grant on students across the nation.


Today on the show, we surveyed the state to discuss issues of educational policy, in addition to farming after Hurricane Michael.

GPB reporter Grant Blankenship spoke about about gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp's visions for Georgia's education system. We also spoke with farmers, comissioners, and representatives from the Georgia Farm Bureau about the devastating loss of crops in southeast and southwest Georgia due to hurricane damage.

Courtesy of Beau Cabell / The Telegraph

The Georgia gubernatorial candidates are campaigning on opposing views about the future of the education system. Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is in favor of funding wrap-around services by ending the state's private school scholarship program. Republican candidate Brian Kemp wants to expand the program.

 

We spoke to GPB reporter Grant Blankenship about these two visions for education, along with the choices parents have between private and public schools.

GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, education becomes a forefront issue on the campaign trail in Georgia. What will each candidate offer and how will their proposals improve rural education without causing large tax increases? 


GOP candidate for governor Brian Kemp.
Grant Blankenship / GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, Brian Kemp hopes to give public school teachers in Georgia a raise. The Republican candidate for governor says he will give teachers a permanent $5,000 annual pay raise, a plan that would cost taxpayers around $600 million a year.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

One morning during the second week of the school year, Principal Shandrina Griffin-Stewart was about to walk the halls of Appling Middle School in Macon. She'd just stepped outside her door when she saw a class of rambunctious sixth graders. She quickly got them in line.

"Raider Pride!" she intoned.

The students responded immediately, if less than enthusiastically.

"Gear up, work hard and do right," they said in a loose unison. Griffin-Stewart tried again.

"Raider Pride!"


Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets Sen. David Perdue on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, evangelical leaders and GOP politicians are continuing to voice their support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even as the controversy over allegations of sexual assault continue to cloud his confirmation.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, both Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams are focusing on education and school safety this week on the campaign trail. We’ll discuss the nuanced differences between each candidate’s proposals and how they plan to fund their efforts.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

As students across Georgia are making plans to head back into the classrooms, Democratic nominee for Governor Stacey Abrams released her own plan for Georgia’s education system.

At a press conference, the former Georgia House Minority Leader said fully funding the Quality Basic Education formula for schools is an important first step in serving Georgia’s students, but it’s not enough.

Sex Ed In Georgia Schools Still Abstinence-Heavy

Jul 30, 2018
Sophie Peel

No sex until marriage. That’s the message in many Georgia counties, where sex ed is abstinence based. Despite hundreds of student requests for science-based programs and several parent-led initiatives for curriculum change, abstinence-based programs still dominate Georgia schools.


DeKalb County Schools

DeKalb County is looking to fill nearly 300 teaching positions ahead of the first day of school on Aug. 6 — but recruiting teachers is also an issue beyond the Atlanta area.


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