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APS: Suspicious test scores in schools nationwide

APS: Suspicious test scores in schools nationwide

ATLANTA - The cheating scandal that rocked the Atlanta Public School system is apparently just one small part of a larger national epidemic.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation analyzed more than 1.5 million standardized tests from 69,000 schools nationwide.

The AJC found nearly 200 districts had "suspicious scores" that "resemble those that entangled Atlanta".

The cities with improbable test score gains included the school districts of Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston and Dallas.

The latest report gives the rest of the nation is getting a taste of what Atlanta has dealt with for a few years when the newspaper first reported on determined statistical improbabilities with Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) scores.

A state investigation into APS last year implicated nearly 180 teachers in 44 schools.

So far, about 70 teachers have resigned or retired.

City Council briefed on Atlanta school closings

City Council briefed on Atlanta school closings

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- It's one of the most emotional issues any parent and child can face...the loss of their local school.

It's happening in school systems all over the metro area and now it's the city of Atlanta's turn.

School closings can also have a tremendous impact on real estate values.

That's one of several reasons why Atlanta City Council members are now involved in the process of closing as many as 13 of the city's 85 schools.

They got a briefing on the redistricting plan from the City School Board and Superintendent Erroll Davis Wednesday afternoon.

They were told it's a simple math problem...too many empty seats.

"A lot of these buildings were built, of course, to support children who were there, in many instances, because of large housing projects which are no longer there; the children are no longer there," explained Superintendent Davis.

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.

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.