schools

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Georgia has been given the green light by the U.S. Department of Education to experiment with leaving high stakes, year-end testing behind.

But now Georgia and three other states — New Hampshire, North Carolina and Louisiana — have permission to find other federally compliant ways to assess students.

Summer Meals Are Heating Up For Hungry Kids In Macon

Jun 18, 2019
Marianna Bacallao / GPB

Most kids who rely on free or reduced-price lunch during the school year lose that steady source of food when the summer begins.

To help compensate for lost meals, counties across the state participate in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. Schools, parks and other USDA-designated meal sites provide free breakfast and lunch to students in need.


There's a building on the campus of the University of Georgia where the foundation rests on the bodies of enslaved people.

That's Baldwin Hall on UGA's picturesque North Campus. It's been years since more than 100 burials of enslaved people were discovered during an expansion of the building that houses the Anthropology Department. Since then, many on campus at UGA and in the larger Athens community have not been happy with the way UGA handled those remains.


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!"


SavannahNow.com

Savannah-Chatham school officials held a forum Wednesday to discuss proposed changes to the district's recess policy. Board members, parents and the public are split on whether to make the unstructured break time mandatory or leave it up to principals and teachers to decide when and if to take it.

Susan Catron, executive editor of the Savannah Morning News, joined us to discuss the proposed changes and upcoming school board elections. 


Grant Blankenship / GPB

What do kids need for success in school? Good textbooks? Great teachers? Sure. But there are some intangibles, too.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

Most school days You can find Jared Moore teaching freshman English at Northeast High School in Macon.


On a recent morning, students all faced each other, with their desks arranged in a room filling oval. Before they got to discussing the day’s text, Moore brought the class to attention.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

When students don’t come to open house, why not take open house on the road?

That’s what teachers at Hartley Elementary in Macon did the day before the first day of school this week when they piled onto a bus and toured the Hartley school zone.

Why do this? Principal Carmalita Dillard said, sure, a lot of kids missed open house, but there were other reasons.

“I want the teachers to be able to experience where our kids come from,” Dillard said.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

They say you can’t go home again. So maybe you should take a good long look before you leave?

That’s what seniors from Northside High School in Warner Robins did recently when they took a field trip to their old elementary and middle schools.

At Westside Elementary, students lined the halls to see the graduates. When Northside students walked in wearing their blue caps and gowns, students and teachers erupted.  At the head of the line is Alexis Monroy. This was her school.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Over a quarter of the schools on the Georgia’s Priority Schools List are moving on.

 

In total, 74 out of the 243 schools on the list have worked their way off the list. Most of those schools are in the Atlanta metro area, especially in the Atlanta Public School system and the Dekalb County School System.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

Do you love the kitchen? Do you love it enough earn your living there?

High School students at in the culinary arts track at the Hutchings College and Career Academy in Macon get to answer both of those questions at the school’s Compass Rose Cafe.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

What are you going to do when you grow up? We ask our kids that all the time.

To answer that, first you have to know what jobs are even out there. That’s why students in Cherilyn Keily’s class at Bonaire Middle School have been raising chickens.

Grant Blankenship

Do you remember the last time you worked really hard on something? If someone was working on the same thing and got ahead before you, you would want to know why that happened, right?

That’s where the leaders of many Georgia schools find themselves. Last year schools on Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Priority Schools List thought they had dodged a bullet when the Priority School District proposal died at the polls. That would have allowed state takeover of what the state calls failing schools. Now a bill in the Georgia House has raised that idea again.

Shayna Waltower / Center for Collaborative Journalism

Schools in Macon-Bibb have largely re-segregated along racial lines. One quarter of all white students in the county go to a single charter school. These facts and others are what we are asking you to talk to us about in a project with our partners at the The Macon Telegraph and the Center for Collaborative Journalism. Hear what a few people had to say in this video from our first conversation and then come join us Thursday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Museum of Arts and Sciences for the second discussion.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

Should the Georgia Board of Education revoke the charter of the Macon Charter Academy in Macon-Bibb, it will be the first time the board has ever terminated a charter.

 

Both at the administrative level and on the ground for parents in Macon-Bibb, it would be a dig deal. On the morning of the hearing, Macon Charter leaders held an assembly to explain to their students just what was going on.

Google Images

The Georgia Department of Education just released its second year of Georgia Milestones test scores. While there were improvements, some students had trouble just taking the test.

We talk with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Maureen Downey, who writes the “Get Schooled” blog, on what the results show and whether the tests are the best way to measure how well students are learning.

Title I Money Going To Wealthy Schools

Jul 26, 2016
Creative Commons

The federal government allocates what’s called Title I funding to school districts with a high number of poor students. But a U.S. News and World Report investigation found wealthier school districts are also cashing in – while the schools that are supposed to get the money are missing out. We talk with U.S.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

It looks like the Georgia Milestones test might not be tied to grade promotion this year after all.

So far, students in third, fifth and eighth grades had to perform up to grade level in core areas of study to pass onto the next grade.

flickr.com

Last year, the Department of Justice came down hard on the Georgia school system after they learned about the segregation and isolation of disabled students into special "psycho-educational programs." But now, another investigation into these special programs has revealed that a disproportionate amount of black students are sent to these facilities. New reporting reveals that students are offered little or no psychiatric help and spend much of the day either playing games or sitting in isolation.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

High-stakes tests are by now a familiar part of  our educational system. Their aim is usually clear: making sure students are learning what they need to know to compete with their peers around the country, or even the world. But what isn't so clear is what these tests cost once they are done.

You could see a little of what Georgia's high-stakes test has cost teachers on a Wednesday morning  at Heritage Elementary School in Macon.