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Ga. SAT scores hold steady for Class of 2013

Ga. SAT scores hold steady for Class of 2013

ATLANTA -- There was little change in SAT scores between Georgia's Class of 2013 and Class of 2012, the Georgia Department of Education announced Thursday.

About 75 percent of Georgia's high school seniors took the SAT in 2013, compared to 43 percent nationally. Georgia students earned a collective score of 1452 out of 2400 -- the same score as last year. The national average is 1498.

Overall, Georgia's senior increased two points in critical reading and decreased two points in math. The overall writing score stayed the same from 2012 to 2013. About 36 percent of Georgia's test takers met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark.

9 Ga. schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools

9 Ga. schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools

ATLANTA -- Nine schools in Georgia have been named to one of the most prestigious education lists in the country.

The schools -- eight public and one private -- are Georgia's latest National Blue Ribbon Schools. The distinction is given annually by the U.S. Department of Education to schools where students operate at very high levels and work hard to close the achievement gap.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are another shining example of great things happening in Georgia schools," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "These eight schools are to be commended for their outstanding student performance. I am excited for these students, teachers and staff that they were recognized on a national level for excellence.

Georgia's 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools are:

Superintendent names Student Advisory Council members

Superintendent names Student Advisory Council members

ATLANTA -- State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge has selected 50 students from across Georgia to serve on his 2013-14 Student Advisory Council.

More than 700 teens applied to join this year's council, which was formed to give young people a voice in how their classrooms are organized.

"Having student input during the policy-making process is invaluable," Barge said in a statement. "The students are ultimately the ones impacted by our work, and I want them to share their ideas and concerns as we address many critical issues."

The council will meet three times this school year to discuss how state policies have an impact in their classrooms. They will also serve as the superintendent's ambassadors to their respective schools.

A number of the Student Advisory Council members are from metro Atlanta, including:

STEM Education Awards finalists announced

STEM Education Awards finalists announced

ATLANTA -- The Technology Association of Georgia and its Education Collaborative has announced the finalists for this year's Georgia STEM Education Awards.

The finalists were chosen from more than 170 applicants across eight categories.

"Recent studies show that Georgia will need to fill approximately 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018," TAG president and CEO Tino Mantella said in a statement. "The 2013 Georgia STEM Education Awards finalists are helping to prepare the tech-ready workforce to fill these jobs, and we applaud them for standing out as leaders in Georgia's educational community."

The award winners will be announced Sept. 27 at the second annual Georgia STEM Education Awards event in Savannah.

This year's finalists include:

Elementary School
* Brookwood ES (Whitfield)
* Hightower ES (DeKalb)
* Honey Creek ES (Rockdale)
* May Howard ES (Savannah-Chatham)
* Sope Creek ES (Cobb)

2012 Ga. Schools of Excellence named

2012 Ga. Schools of Excellence named

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education has identified the state's 2012 Schools of Excellence.

The annual honor is presented in two categories: Highest Performance and Highest Progress. Fourteen schools made the cut in each area.

"These schools are the epitome of excellence," Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "I offer my congratulations to our 2012 Georgia Schools of Excellence."

Barge added that he plans to visit all 28 schools at some point during the school year.

Metro Atlanta's Schools of Excellence include:

Atlanta Public Schools
* KIPP STRIVE Academy, Southwest Atlanta (Progress)

Bremen City
*Jones ES (Performance)

Clayton County
* Elite Scholars Academy, Morrow (Performance)

Cobb County
* Garrison Mill ES, Marietta (Progress)
* Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy (Progress)

iStudyforSuccess teaches kids to study

iStudyforSuccess teaches kids to study

CUMMING, Ga. -- Wouldn't it be nice if knowing how to study came naturally to kids?

Unfortunately, it doesn't. Studying is a skill that must be taught.

When Conn Lynch's teacher asks a question, he's always among those who raise their hands quickly to answer.

Conn admits he's come a long way.

"I was a slacker," he said. "I didn't really study."

He isn't alone. Julie Wilson found the same was true of her own children.

"One of the number one causes of failure is the lack of preparation," she said.

Wilson developed a nine-week program called iStudyforSuccess, described as the mental equivalent of the physical PE course.

Forsyth County's Piney Grove Middle School piloted the iStudyforSuccess program last year with 200 sixth graders.

"I've been doing this 33 years now, and I've never seen kids this excited about study skills," Piney Grove principal Terri North said.

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

ATLANTA -- Georgia's Path2College 529 Plan is making it easier for families to pay for college by holding two scholarship giveaways.

The deadline to enter both contests is Thursday, Aug. 15.

Mitch Seabaugh, director of the Path2College 529 Plan, said the two sweepstakes are designed to encourage families to start saving for college while their children are still very young.

"If 10,000 more Georgia families start saving for college, that's 10,000 more children who will have a head start toward achieving their dream when they graduate from high school," he said in a statement.

Seabaugh added that the sweepstakes also benefit young students because they provide money for schools and libraries.

The first contest -- the 10,000 Reasons to Save Sweepstakes -- will gives $10,529 to two lucky winners: a current Path2College account holder and a non-account holder. The two winners' schools will each receive $10,529.