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Simon Youth Foundation seeks applicants for $1M in scholarships

Simon Youth Foundation seeks applicants for $1M in scholarships

ATLANTA -- For a 14th straight year, Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, will award a college scholarship to one student from every community that is home to a Simon property. Simon Youth Foundation Community Scholarships are awarded through the Simon Youth Scholarships program and in partnership with local Simon properties. The application period is open through Saturday, Jan. 11.

Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

(WXIA) -- The public school graduation rate in Georgia continues to climb.

The Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday that the state's graduation rate was 71.5 percent in 2013 -- almost two points higher than in 2012 and four points above 2011's rate.

Every state uses a U.S. Department of Education-mandated four-year adjusted cohort rate to calculate graduations. It tracks the number of students who graduate from high school within the standard four years.

State superintendent Dr. John Barge said the more rigorous calculation method still shows an increase in Georgia's graduation rate.

"Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today than we have had in several years, which is a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers," Barge said in a statement.

Atlanta Public Schools' 2013 four-year graduation rate was 58.6 percent.

GED registration begins on new website

GED registration begins on new website

(WXIA) -- Registration for the 2014 General Educational Development tests is now open on the new MyGED website.

The site, located at ged.com, offers study plans, skills assessments and other resources to help adults receive the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The 2014 GED program launches on Jan. 2. It was overhauled to better prepare GED candidates for higher education and the working world, and ultimately allow them to find jobs with higher pay.

The website also features a list of GED testing centers across metro Atlanta.

Beverly Hall testifies in pre-trial hearing

Beverly Hall testifies in pre-trial hearing

ATLANTA -- Former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall took the stand during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday.

Hall is among 34 educators charged in a system-wide test cheating scandal.

PHOTOS | Indicted APS educators

Hall's attorneys filed a motion to throw out information she gave to investigators looking into the cheating. Hall testified that she feared losing her job if she did not cooperate.

Defense attorneys argued the statements Hall gave were coerced because of her fear of termination. But Judge Jerry Baxter disagreed and denied the motion.

119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

(WXIA) -- More than 100 schools across Georgia will participate in this year's National Mix It Up at Lunch Day.

The annual event is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and was created in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month. Roughly 6,000 schools nationwide are expected to participate.

"Mix It Up is a positive step that schools can take to help create learning environments where students see each other as individuals and not just as members of a separate group," said Maureen Costello, director of the SPLC's Teaching Tolerance project. "When people step out of their cliques and get to know someone, they realize just how much they have in common."

On National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students are asked to sit with new friends in the cafeteria. Its goal is to foster understanding and respect among young people.

Participating schools in metro Atlanta include:

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.

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: