Monday, April 28, 2008

Fayette Honored for Excellence in Economic Education

Fayette County Schools has received the state's highest recognition for being a leader in K-12 economic education.

The Georgia Council on Economic Education has awarded the system its Economic Education Program of Excellence for comprehensive system-wide implementation of economic education at all grade levels. The selection committee cited two factors that lead to the county receiving the award: the dedication of Fayette's teachers and the exemplary leadership of Social Studies Coordinator Cathy Geis.

The council defines an exemplary program as one that is based on a curriculum of framework consistent with the National Council on Economic Education Curriculum Framework and Georgia Council on Economic Education guidelines. It recognizes complete programs that encourage articulation, balance of content, a variety of teaching strategies and the involvement of teachers, students and the community.

For an economics program to receive the award, teachers must show expertise in the curriculum they teach, participate in all aspects of the development of the curriculum and show sound instructional theory and practice in the implementation of the program. The curriculum must be guided by clearly stated goals and objectives, based on sound scholarship from the content of economics, related appropriately to the age, maturity, interests and needs of the students, incorporate effective instructional strategies that engage students in learning and set high expectations for students and use of a variety of systematic measures to evaluate student performance. And, students must be able to examine content, issues and events from a variety of perspectives, demonstrate comprehensive decision making and active participation in school, community and world and show an understanding of democratic principals and participation in the democratic process as they affect the economic system.

This marks the second time in five years that the school system has received the excellence award. The award was given in 2003 for the Mini-Society program.
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Students Perform Well on Graduation Test

An overwhelming majority of Georgia's students are meeting expectations on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT), including two of the exams that are aligned to the state's more rigorous curriculum.

"Overall, these results are good news: most of Georgia's students are showing that they have the basic knowledge they need in order to graduate from high school," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "However, the results of the two new GHSGTs show that we still have work to do in getting students fully prepared to be highly successful in college and the work world."

For the first time this year, the GHSGTs in English Language Arts and Science are fully aligned to the state's new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Besides testing more rigorous material, the new exams call for higher order thinking. These new exams are scored at four levels -- below proficiency, basic proficiency, advanced proficiency and honors.

About 90 percent of first-time test takers scored at basic proficiency or above on the new GHSGT in English Language Arts. Slightly more than 86 percent scored at basic proficiency or above on the new GHSGT in Science.

"These exams are definitely more challenging," Superintendent Cox said, "so, it's clear that our teachers are doing a great job delivering a more focused and engaging curriculum that sets high expectations for all students."

However, Superintendent Cox said the state must also keep an eye on the percentage of students scoring at Advanced Proficiency or above -- an indication of being able to do college level work without remediation. In English Language Arts, 53.4 percent of students scored at Advanced Proficiency or Honors. On the science exam, slightly more than 50 percent scored at the highest two levels.

"If Georgia is going to be competitive in the 21st century, we must demand more from ourselves and our students," Superintendent Cox said. "Working together at all levels of education, I know we will see more and more students scoring at the highest levels on these tests and being successful in college and the work place."

Mathematics and Social Studies

The results of GHSGTs in Mathematics and Social Studies remained very strong, but were essentially flat when compared to 2007.

In Mathematics, 92.5 percent of first-time test takers passed the exam, a slight increase from 2007 (91.7 percent). On the social studies exam, 86.4 percent passed the exam, a slight decrease from 2007 (87.1 percent).

These exams are still aligned to the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) and are scored the same as in the past with three performance levels -- did not pass, pass and pass plus.

The Social Studies GHSGT will be GPS-based starting in 2010 and the Mathematics GHSGT will be GPS-based starting in 2011.

Clayton State School of Business Honors Two Students

Photo: Left to right; Jacob Chacko, Michael Deis, Momoh Kerkula, Michelle Terrell, Michael Tidwell

Dean Dr. Jacob Chacko and the faculty of the Clayton State University School of Business recently honored two of their students, Momoh Kerkula and Jonathan Howard, under what could only be called unique circumstances.

Chacko, along with Associate Professor of Management Dr. Michael Deis, Student Advisor Michelle Terrell and Associate Professor of Management Dr. Michael Tidwell, first journeyed to Kindred Hospital in Midtown Atlanta where Kerkula has been hospitalized since a November 2007 automobile accident. Standing by Kerkula’s beside with this fellow faculty members, Chacko performed the native of Liberia’s graduation ceremony, presenting Kerkula, who has been residing in Jonesboro while attending Clayton State, with a framed diploma.

Later that same day, Chacko joined with Assistant Professors of Business Dr. Nikki Finlay and Dr. Anita Whiting in what was most likely a first for the School of Business, if not the University as a whole. A native of Griffin, the founding president of the Clayton State Marketing Association, and one of the School of Business’ outstanding students, Howard died unexpectedly this past winter. As part of the School’s annual Beta Gamma Sigma induction ceremony, Howard’s father, Steve Howard, was presented with his son’s posthumous diploma – believed to be the first posthumous degree awarded by the University. At the same time, Jonathan Howard was also posthumously inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society in business, management, and administration for AACSB accredited business schools.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

State Board Member Linda Zechmann to Hold Meeting in The First Congressional District

Are you interested in learning more about public education in Georgia? Do you have suggestions that may help Georgia lead the nation in improving student achievement? If so, you may want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to speak directly to the State Board of Education Member Linda Zechmann representing your area – the First Congressional District.

Ms. Zechmann welcomes you to an open public hearing taking place Tuesday, April 29, 2008, from 7-8 p.m. at Liberty County Board of Education, 200 Bradwell Street, Hinesville, 31313.

Whether you’re a teacher, parent, student, or simply a concerned citizen – you are encouraged to take part in this important event. Your feedback is critical as the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Schools work together to insure that all Georgia students are receiving an excellent education.

Those wishing to speak at the meeting are asked to sign in when they arrive. For more information contact Ms. Lynn Roberts at 404-657-7410 or by e-mail: lroberts@doe.k12.ga.us

The Georgia Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services or activities. Individuals who need assistance or auxiliary aids for participation in this public forum are invited to make their needs known to Ms. Lynn Roberts, Georgia Department of Education at (404) 657-7410.

Gordon College Early Childhood Education Program Passes First Step to Obtain Accreditation

The Gordon College Early Childhood Education program is one step closer to being fully accrediting after a successful site visit by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

All eight standards were met which included, candidate knowledge, skills and disposition; assessment system and unit evaluation; field experiences and clinical practice; diversity; faculty qualifications and performance; unit governance and resources; specific requirements and standards and appropriate program content standards.

While all eight standards were met, three were met with areas for improvement noted. Those included diversity, faculty qualifications, performance and unit governance and resources.

“Meeting these standards means that our first graduating class of teachers in May, 2009 will have completed an NCATE accredited program and will be eligible to obtain their teaching certificates,” said Jerry Stinchcomb, interim chair of the division of education at Gordon College. “We knew that with this being a new program there would be areas for improvement and we will work hard to make the recommended improvements.”

“This ‘developmental accreditation’ is the first step for new programs like ours,” Stinchcomb added. “In two years, when we have data from our graduates, Gordon College will then be eligible for ‘initial accreditation’ which will cover the next seven years.”

Stinchcomb, a Fayette County native, taught for many years in Fayette County and is a former Superintendent of the Fayette County school system.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission, PSC, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE, are the professional accrediting organizations for schools, colleges, and teacher preparation programs in Georgia. NCATE is the accrediting body for programs across the United States. It is a coalition of more than 30 organizations representing teachers, teacher education, policymakers and the public. NCATE currently accredits 632 colleges of education with 78 more seeking NCATE accreditation.

The five-day visit involved meetings with teacher-candidates as well as administrators, instructors and representatives of the Teacher Education Council, a group of local educators assisting in the development of the Gordon program.

Review team members included representatives from Albany State College, Augusta State University, Columbus State University, Florida State University and Georgia Southern University.

There are currently 30 teacher-candidates in the first class that will graduate in spring 2009 with degrees in Early Childhood Education, Gordon's first baccalaureate degree. The second class of juniors will begin this fall.

Gordon College, in Barnesville, is a residential state college of the University System of Georgia and offers more than 80 programs of study to more than 3,700 students. There are more than 350 students from Fayette County enrolled at Gordon College.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alice Smith Staff Award Nominees Announced

Clayton State University has announced the five finalists for the University’s 2008 Alice Smith Staff Award. They are: Kathy Garrison; from the Center for Academic Success, Mary Alice Gladin; from the School of Business, Sandy Haught; from Plant Operations, Vicky Stewart; from the School of Nursing; and from Administrative Systems, Celeste Wade.

Clayton State’s 2008 Alice J. Smith Awards, for both faculty and staff, will be presented at Clayton State’s Faculty/Staff Awards Ceremony on Apr. 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Spivey Hall. An annual event since 1995, the Smith Awards are presented to the faculty member and staff member ranked most outstanding as determined by committees of their peers. The two, $1000 awards were established by local philanthropist Joseph Smith in honor of his wife, Alice. The winners of both categories will be announced at the Apr. 30 ceremonies.

Garrison is completing her 20th year at Clayton State University. Currently she is the assistant director of the Center for Academic Success in which she oversees peer tutoring and supplemental instruction programs. Garrison earned a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from North Georgia College.

Garrison lives with her husband and two children in Social Circle. She enjoys traveling and camping with her family, attending sporting events, and participating with the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, or her church youth group.

“It is such an honor to be nominated, much less a finalist. It is just overwhelming to believe that my colleagues feel that I am worthy of such an honor,” she says.

Gladin has worked as the administrative assistant in Clayton State University’s School of Business since 2004.

“Being nominated is a very humbling experience because I feel the least qualified of all the candidates and I just sincerely enjoy being a small part of Clayton State. The faculty and staff here are an inspiration to me each day. I'm truly blessed that they allow me to have a part of their lives,” she says.

After 36 years dedicated to International Paper, Gladin retired in 1998 only to come out of retirement in 2001 when she began part time work as the evening secretary for the School of Business. She grew up in Rome, Ga., but has lived in Jonesboro with her husband since 1969. They have two children and two granddaughters. She enjoys bowling and golfing with her husband, reading, and watching the Braves.

Haught, from Selma, Ala., and now living in Griffin, Ga., has been a part of Clayton State’s Plant Operations since 1989. As the business manager, she works closely with the Director of Plant Operations on all projects, including contracts and pay requests for architects and contractors. She interacts with all departments on campus and enjoys working at Clayton State because of the people and its surroundings.

“This award is a great honor and to be nominated by my peers means so much to me,” she says.

When Haught is not spending time with her family, she enjoys working in the yard and spending time with her family and their black Lab, Levi. Haught and her husband have been married for 39 years and they have one son and an eight month old grandson.

As the administrative coordinator for the School of Nursing, Stewart enjoys many aspects of her work. She described it as including enough variety to keep things interesting and says that the Dean and faculty of the School of Nursing are an energetic group. She has been a part of the Clayton State staff for 13 years and gladly refers to her fellow co-workers as her extended family.

“For me, to be considered, let alone nominated by your peers for such an award is an honor and humbling experience,” she says.
Stewart received a certificate in accounting from North Georgia Technical College, graduating with honors. She is married with one child and resides with her family in Griffin, Ga. When she isn’t spending time with her family, she enjoys reading, gardening and interior decorating.

In 1995, Wade began working in Plant Operations as a clerk and in 1999 moved to Administrative Systems to work as an analyst. Since 2005 she has also provided IT support for the accounts receivable side of Banner and PeopleSoft Financials as part of the Budget & Finance Office.

“Being nominated for the Alice Smith Award was a surprise and an honor. Everyone around me has always made me feel so appreciated,” expresses Wade.

Wade enjoys her job for many reasons, namely the outstanding people with whom she works with, the challenge of her job, and the opportunity to learn and grow.

Wade earned her certificate in Information Technology in 2004 from Clayton State. She lives in Locust Grove and has two daughters. She enjoys getting together with her sister and extended family.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

ADEA/GlaxoSmithKline/National Dental Association and ADEA/GlaxoSmithKline Awards Presented at 2008 ADEA Annual Session

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare, and the National Dental Association (NDA) recently presented three awards to dental educators to enhance their teaching efforts. The recipients were recognized at the inaugural Gies Awards for Vision, Innovation, and Achievement, held in conjunction with the 85th ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition in Dallas. The awards include the 2008 ADEA/GSK/NDA Dr. Jeanne C. Sinkford Scholarship, the 2008 ADEA/GSK Excellence in Teaching Award, and the 2008 ADEA/GSK Dental Hygiene Teaching Fellowship Program.

Three dental hygiene educators were chosen for the ADEA/GSK Dental Hygiene Fellowship Program, which provides opportunities for dental hygiene educators to enhance their teaching skills, develop or refine their presentation methods, and provide support to attend the ADEA Allied Dental Faculty Leadership Program. This year’s recipients are Ann O’Kelley Wetmore, R.D.H., Idaho State University; Colleen M. Brickle, R.D.H., R.F., Ed.D., Normandale Community College; and Susan I. Duley, Ed.D., R.D.H., L.P.C., Clayton State University.

“GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Heathcare understands that creating innovative ways to support good educational opportunities can lead to improving the overall health of the public. These awards have been designed to foster excellence in teaching through recognition and programs that will help educators improve and refine their interpersonal, presentation, and teaching skills,” said Ronald L. Rupp, D.M.D., U.S. Professional Relations, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

“ADEA is thankful for GlaxoSmithKline and the National Dental Association’s investment in the dental education community and looks forward to working with the recipients as they refine and strengthen their teaching skills,” said ADEA President James Q. Swift, D.D.S.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Public Schools Spent $9,138 Per Student in 2006

School districts in the United States spent an average of $9,138 per student in fiscal year 2006, an increase of $437 from 2005, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released 4/1/08.

Public Education Finances: 2006 offers a comprehensive look at the revenues and expenditures of public school districts at the national and state levels. The report includes detailed tables that allow for the calculation of per pupil expenditures. Highlights from these tables include spending on instruction, support services, construction, salaries and benefits of the more than 15,000 school districts. Public school districts include elementary and secondary school systems.

Public school systems received $521.1 billion in funding from federal, state and local sources in 2006, a 6.7 percent increase over 2005. Total expenditures reached $526.6 billion, a 6 percent increase. (See Table 1.)

State governments contributed the greatest share of funding to public school systems (47 percent), followed by local sources (44 percent) and the federal government (9 percent). (See Table 5.)

School district spending per pupil was highest in New York ($14,884), followed by New Jersey ($14,630) and the District of Columbia ($13,446). States where school districts spent the lowest amount per pupil were Utah ($5,437), Idaho ($6,440) and Arizona ($6,472). (See Tables 8 and 11.)

Of the total expenditures for elementary and secondary education, current spending made up $451 billion (85.7 percent) and capital outlay $59 billion (11.2 percent). (See Table 1.)

From current spending, school districts allotted $271.8 billion to elementary and secondary instruction. Of that amount, $184.4 billion (68 percent) went to salaries and $58.5 billion went to employee benefits (22 percent). Another $156 billion went to support services. (See Table 6.)

Of the $156 billion spent on support services, 28 percent went to operations and maintenance, and 5 percent went to general administration. Of the states that used 10 percent or more of their support services on general administration expenditures, North Dakota topped the list at 14 percent. General administration includes the activities of the boards of education and the offices of the superintendent. (See Table 7.)

Of the $59 billion in capital outlay, $45 billion (77 percent) was spent on construction, $5 billion (8 percent) was spent on land and existing structures, and $8.7 billion (15 percent) went to equipment. (See Table 9.)

Other highlights:

- State government contributions per student averaged $5,018 nationally. Hawaii had the largest revenue from state sources per pupil ($13,301). South Dakota had the least state revenue per student ($2,922). (See Table 11.)

- The percentage of state government financing for public education was highest in Hawaii (89.9 percent) and lowest in Nebraska (31.4 percent). (See Table 5.)

- The average contribution per pupil from local sources was $4,779, with the highest amount from the District of Columbia ($16,195), which comprises a single urban district (and therefore does not receive state financing). The state with the smallest contribution from local sources was Hawaii ($265). (See Table 11).

- The percentage of local revenue for school districts was highest in Illinois (59.1 percent) and lowest in Hawaii (1.8 percent). (See Table 5.)

- On average, the federal government contributed $974 per student enrolled in public school systems. Federal contributions ranged from $2,181 per student in Alaska to $627 in Nevada (See Table 11).

- The percentage of public school system revenues from the federal government was highest in Mississippi (20.1 percent) and lowest in New Jersey (4.3 percent). (See Table 5.)

- Spending on transportation represented 12.4 percent of support services. New York and West Virginia spent the largest percent from support services on transportation (21 percent). Hawaii (5.4 percent) and California (7.2 percent) spent the least. (See Table 7.)

- Total school district debt increased by 8.5 percent from the prior year to $322.7 billion in fiscal year 2006. (See Table 10.)

For more information, visit the Census Bureau’s Web site at: http://www.govs.census.gov/govs/www/school.html.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Clayton State Alumni Association Welcomes Record Crowd to 16th Annual Dinner at Georgia Aquarium

The Clayton State Alumni Association welcomed a record number of attendees to its 16th Annual Dinner & Auction Saturday at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, GA.

More than 170 guests made the voyage to the Aquarium for the annual event, which featured a guest speaker, the presentation of the Distinguished & Outstanding Alumni Awards and a silent auction. This year’s attendance was 25 percent higher than last year, which was the previous high in the event’s history.

“We had an overwhelmingly positive response for our dinner this year,” says Gid Rowell, director of Alumni Relations. “It was a special evening at an incredible venue. Our Alumni Dinner has blossomed into the ‘signature event’ of our Association.”

Highlights included the presentation of the 2008 Clayton State Overall Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented to Dennis C. Martino, of Fayetteville. Last year’s overall winner, Charles D. English, also of Fayetteville, spoke at this year’s event. English, a 1981 graduate, is director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Office of Homeland Security.

Along with Martino, other honorees were: Monica L. Martin, Distinguished College of Arts & Sciences Alumnus; Charles E. Crownover, Distinguished College of Professional Studies Alumnus; Latoya N. Hubbard, Distinguished School of Business Alumnus; Jeff M. Wilson, Distinguished School of Nursing Alumnus; and Kristine B. Hopkins, Distinguished College of Information & Mathematical Sciences Alumnus.

Martino, who received an Associate’s degree in Business from Clayton State in 1973, is the general manager and vice president of Martino-White Printing, Inc., and has been in the printing business for 34 years.

Martino has been a member of the Atlanta Airport Rotary Club for the last 25 years, where he is a past president and currently serves on its Board of Directors. He has been instrumental in facilitating of the Atlanta Airport Rotary Mitchell C. Bishop Scholarship at Clayton State, which is the oldest and longest continuing scholarship at the University, beginning almost 30 years ago and influencing scores of students.

In addition, Martino has served as president of the Airport Area Chamber of Commerce and still serves on their Board of Directors. His community involvement includes Chris Kids, Travelers Aid and Children’s Miracle Network.

Martin holds two degrees from Clayton State, an Associate in Applied Science and an Associate in Sociology. She works as a family independence case manager at the Department of Family and Children Services in Clayton County. In 2007, she was recognized as the DFACS Employee of the Year. She received this award in large part to her strong will and determination in overcoming a disability. Prior 1999, Martin had received six years of disability before becoming employed with DFACS and thriving in her position.

Crownover obtained his Bachelors degree in Applied Science in 2002, graduating with honors. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and his commissioning ceremony was held in Clayton State’s Technology Building. He has risen to the rank of Captain and has served two seven-month tours in Iraq and is preparing for his third deployment.

A few of his noteworthy accomplishments include completing Officer Candidate School during his junior and senior years at Clayton State; serving as an AH-1 “Cobra“ Gunship Pilot; and serving as a Squadron Flight Officer. He has received the Marine Corps Service Medal, six Air Medals and a number of campaign ribbons.

After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Clayton State in 2001, Hubbard was employed by Nationwide Insurance, where she has climbed the corporate ladder quickly. Initially employed as a casualty claims representative in the Atlanta area, she has risen to the regional position of agency development sales manager, and now resides in Ohio.

Hubbard is a member of The Advisory Committee of DECA, United Way, National Association of Insurance for Women, Atlanta Association of Insurance Professionals, Consortium of African American Organizations, and the National Black MBA Association. She has also volunteered with Hands on Atlanta.

Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2002. He currently is the Education Program Manager at Piedmont Fayette Hospital and is responsible for all academic affiliations between metro Atlanta colleges and universities, placing more than 100 students from multiple disciplines each semester into clinical rotations.

During his time as the manager of the Education Department, Piedmont Fayette Hospital was recognized and awarded the Outstanding Partner in Education by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and the Fayette County Board of Education.

Wilson also has military experience, entering the Air Force in 1992 and is currently a Captain. He was named an honor graduate from the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. While being assigned to the 94th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, he has flown more than 1000 hours as an Aeromedical Evacuation crew member. His most recent deployment was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Hopkins graduated in 1991 with an Associates degree in Mathematics, receiving many academic honors. After Clayton State, she graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Chemistry, then completed her medical training at the University of Alabama School of Optometry. She completed her residency at the Southern California College of Optometry. Hopkins has also recently completed a Masters of Science in Public Health Epidemiology.

She currently holds the rank of associate professor and chief of Vision Therapy Services at the University of Alabama – Birmingham in the School of Optometry. Hopkins has won several teaching awards, including the University of Alabama – Birmingham President’s Award for excellence in teaching for 2008. She is extremely active in research, grant writing and has published numerous articles in the medical community.

She has served the community in a number of ways including, providing optometric screenings at Camp Seale Harris, a summer camp for diabetic children and at the Lion’s Club Special Olympics.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding, comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nancy Boyle Named Project WET Teacher of the Year

Nancy Boyle, second grade teacher at Peeples Elementary, Fayette County, has been named Project WET Teacher of the Year for the State of Georgia.

Ms. Boyle was recognized at an awards dinner at Unicoi State Park in Helen. The goal of Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is to facilitate and promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources.

Last year, Peeples designated the week of Earth Day to be “Water Week.” Ms. Boyle planned lessons for every grade level in the school. She worked with the PTO to purchase all materials needed for the lessons, and even trained parent volunteers to do the activities with classes.

This year, Ms. Boyle has more fun and interactive activities planned for the students at Peeples!

Clayton State School of Graduate Studies Holding Next Open House May 13

The Clayton State University School of Graduate Studies will be holding its monthly informational Open House on Tuesday, May 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Open House will give prospective graduate students a chance to learn more about the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Business Administration, Master of Health Administration, and Master of Science in Nursing. The event will be held in Room 201 of the University’s Harry S. Downs Center. The School of Graduate Studies will be holding open houses on the second Tuesday evening of each month for the foreseeable future.

The University is now accepting applications for all four of its graduate programs. Go to http://graduate.clayton.edu or call the School of Graduate Studies at (678) 466-4113. For directions to campus, go to http://conted.clayton.edu/directions.html.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Georgia Shows Strong Gains on National Writing Test

Georgia's 8th graders are scoring at the national average in writing, according to test results released Thursday.

The results of the 2007 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) showed that 88 percent of Georgia 8th graders scored at or above basic proficiency levels, one point higher than the nation. This was a six-point jump for Georgia since 2002, the last time the NAEP writing test was given.

"These NAEP results offer further proof that our new curriculum is making a big difference," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "There is no doubt in my mind that the rigor and focus of our new standards is having a positive impact in the classroom."

Superintendent Cox said writing is emphasized across the new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards.

"In the 21st century, the ability to take information and ideas and relay them clearly and concisely is more important than ever," Superintendent Cox said. "Writing is not just a skill that should be used in English class. Our new curriculum demands the use of writing and communication skills in every subject area."

The NAEP is given to a representative sample of students in every state. Scores are on a scale of 0 to 300 and are broken into four categories -- below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. Georgia students in grade 8 took the NAEP writing exam last year. The students who were tested had been taught using the state's new Reading/English Language Arts curriculum for two years.

Georgia's 8th graders scored a 153, up six points from 2002. Georgia's score was one point lower than the nation (154) and one point higher than other southern states (153). But just like a public opinion poll, there is a margin of error, which makes these scores statistically equal.
Georgia's African-American and Hispanic students made significant gains on the NAEP writing test.

The scale score for Georgia's African-American students rose to 144, a jump of six points since 2002 and four points higher than the national average (140) for African-American students.
Hispanic students in Georgia scored 142 on the NAEP writing test, an increase of 31 points from 2002 and one point higher than the national average (141) for Hispanic students.

Superintendent Cox said Georgia has a strong commitment to building students' writing skills. For instance, Georgia is one of few states that tests students in writing at every level of education -- elementary (grades 3 & 5), middle (grade 8) and high school (grade 11).

STATE RESULTS MIRROR PROGRESS
The good news in writing is further supported by the performance of 8th graders on the state writing test they took in January.

"National and state results lead to the same conclusion -- Georgia students are making tremendous progress in writing," Superintendent Cox said.

About 77 percent of students met or exceeded standards on the Grade 8 Writing Assessment -- a 10 point jump from 2007. Georgia's African-American and Hispanic students also showed dramatic gains on the state writing test.

About 69 percent of African-American students met or exceeded standards, an increase of 11 points from 2007. Also, 71 percent of Hispanic students met or exceeded standards, an increase of 15 points in one year.

State Board Member Wanda Barrs to Hold Meeting in The Eighth Congressional District

Are you interested in learning more about public education in Georgia? Do you have suggestions that may help Georgia lead the nation in improving student achievement? If so, you may want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to speak directly to the State Board of Education Member Mrs. Wanda Barrs representing your area – the Eighth Congressional District.

Mrs. Barrs welcomes you to an open public hearing taking place on Thursday, May 1, 2008 from 7:00 – 8:00 PM at Turner County Middle/High School, Cafeteria, 316 Lamar Street, Ashburn.

Whether you’re a teacher, parent, student, or simply a concerned citizen – you are encouraged to take part in this important event. Your feedback is critical as the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Schools work together to insure that all Georgia students are receiving an excellent education.

Those wishing to speak at the meeting are asked to sign in when they arrive. For more information contact Ms. Lynn Roberts at 404-657-7410 or by e-mail: lroberts@doe.k12.ga.us

The Georgia Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services or activities. Individuals who need assistance or auxiliary aids for participation in this public forum are invited to make their needs known to Ms. Lynn Roberts, Georgia Department of Education at (404) 657-7410.

Monday, April 7, 2008

States to Adopt Uniform Standards on High School Graduation Data

(CNSNews.com) - Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says the states must start using the same formula in calculating how many students graduate from high school on time and how many drop out. Spellings said the graduation data will be made public so people can compare how students of every race, background and income level are performing. "One reason that the high school dropout crisis is known as the "silent epidemic" is that the problem is frequently masked or minimized by inconsistent and opaque data reporting systems," Spellings said in an April 1 speech....
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200804/NAT20080407c.html

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hood Avenue Hosts Celebrity Reader Day Event in Honor of National Read Across America Day

Hood Avenue Primary School held it’s annual "Celebrity Reader Day" on Monday, March 3, 2008 as part of the Read Across America Celebration that honors the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The students and faculty got a special treat when twenty-two members of the community came in to read for two 20 minute sessions to each classroom. Our Celebrity Readers included local leaders such as Dr. John DeCotis, Fayette County school superintendent, business leaders from Wal-Mart, Publix, Staples, and Piedmont Fayette Hospital, retired educators, public service professionals, and librarians. The day was filled with fun activities and reading including a surprise visit from the Cat in the Hat.

Our Celebrity Reader Day event, now in its third decade, is designed to encourage community involvement in education, foster a love a reading among students, and expose students to local role models who enjoy reading. This year’s guests encouraged students to read daily and challenged students to work hard and seize every opportunity to learn. According to the National Institute for Literacy, “reading aloud to children has been called the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for success in reading, and success in school starts with reading.” “We want all our students to be successful in school and life”, says Dr. Kiawana Kennedy, Principal. “Our Celebrity Reader Day event is one way we demonstrate our commitment to and understanding of the importance of reading education.”

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Advisory Panel to Study Local Board Governance

The State Board of Education is asking Georgia’s business leaders to work with the education community to study effective methods of school board governance.

The State Board unanimously approved a resolution asking the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and AdvancED to put together an advisory panel on the issue of local school board governance. This panel will work with education advocates and support groups to research best practices and policies for school board operations.

“The State Board of Education members thought it was an appropriate time to ask our business partners to work with us on this issue,” said Wanda Barrs, Chair of the State Board. “Businesses understand the clear link between strong boards and success. Many of those same principles can be applied to school board governance.”

The state board is asking for a report within 90 days of when the advisory panel is formed.
State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox praised the state board’s decision to start a conversation about school board governance.

“We want Georgia to be a model state for local school board governance and I’m very pleased that our state’s business leaders have stepped up to the plate to offer their assistance and expertise,” Superintendent Cox said. “Working together we can pull together proven strategies and effective policies from the business and education worlds that will best serve our students, our educators and the community at large.”

Fayette Honored for Excellence in Economic Education

Fayette County Schools has received the state's highest recognition for being a leader in K-12 economic education.

The Georgia Council on Economic Education has awarded the system its Economic Education Program of Excellence for comprehensive system-wide implementation of economic education at all grade levels. The selection committee cited two factors that lead to the county receiving the award: the dedication of Fayette's teachers and the exemplary leadership of Social Studies Coordinator Cathy Geis.

The council defines an exemplary program as one that is based on a curriculum of framework consistent with the National Council on Economic Education Curriculum Framework and Georgia Council on Economic Education guidelines. It recognizes complete programs that encourage articulation, balance of content, a variety of teaching strategies and the involvement of teachers, students and the community.

For an economics program to receive the award, teachers must show expertise in the curriculum they teach, participate in all aspects of the development of the curriculum and show sound instructional theory and practice in the implementation of the program. The curriculum must be guided by clearly stated goals and objectives, based on sound scholarship from the content of economics, related appropriately to the age, maturity, interests and needs of the students, incorporate effective instructional strategies that engage students in learning and set high expectations for students and use of a variety of systematic measures to evaluate student performance. And, students must be able to examine content, issues and events from a variety of perspectives, demonstrate comprehensive decision making and active participation in school, community and world and show an understanding of democratic principals and participation in the democratic process as they affect the economic system.

This marks the second time in five years that the school system has received the excellence award. The award was given in 2003 for the Mini-Society program.

William Flynn Named School of Business’ First Executive in Residence

Corporate executive William F. Flynn, a resident of Peachtree City, Ga., is the first Executive in Residence of the Clayton State University School of Business.

The Executive in Residence Program invites senior-level executives to bring industry into the classroom, providing a bridge between theory and practice. The executives work with faculty to provide an enriching learning environment for Clayton State’s undergraduate and graduate students through guest lectures, team teaching, presentations, mentoring students and cultivating new internships and career placement opportunities.

Flynn has a M.B.A. from the University of Miami, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and is former president and CEO of Wilstemar, Inc., and president and CEO of Marbil Properties. A long-time resident of Peachtree City, he served as finance manager for Harold Logsdon’s campaign for Mayor of Peachtree City. Flynn is also actively involved in raising money for a military-dependent children’s scholarship fund. This fund is currently providing college tuition assistance to 44 children who have lost a parent in the current war on terror.

Flynn will also step in as the new Chairman of the School of Business’ Advisory Board, replacing retired Dean Ernest “Bud” Miller.

According to Dr. Jacob Chacko, dean of the School of Business, Flynn “is a perfect fit” as the School’s first Executive in Residence and chair of the Advisory Board.

“Flynn has military, corporate, leadership, and fundraising experience. He has a passion to get involved with education, and he’s also passionate about first generation college students and supporting minorities,” says Chacko. “All these qualities can come together at Clayton State.”

The School’s Advisory Board is composed of 20 to 25 executive and community professionals whose primary roles will be as advisors to the business curriculum, marketing and fundraising.

“The role of the board will be to build a brand for the School of Business and help us market ourselves,” says Chacko. “This group has contacts with corporations that will help open doors to talk about on-site programming, non-credit executive training, and fundraising.”

“I plan to put together a group of people who are willing to work and be on committees to go about the business of the School of Business as directed by Dr. Chacko,” says Flynn. “We need to be a resource for the community in terms of a place to go for specific business solutions. Community service is extremely important.”

Both roles as Executive in Residence and chairman of the Advisory Board fulfill Flynn’s goal to serve as a resource for his community.

“When I retired from full-time work and business, I wanted to teach serious students who want to be practitioners,” he says. “I owe my successes to mentors and leaders who took the time to explain points of leadership and management to me. These are the essential keys to business success. I want to be the person who can pass these ideas on. To help get someone from a middle management position to one of senior leadership or business ownership strengthens America’s future.”

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Michelle Wing Earns Teacher of the Year Honor at Hood Avenue Primary School

Hood Avenue Primary School is pleased announce that Kindergarten Teacher Michelle Wing is Teacher of the Year.

Mrs. Wing was selected by her peers as being a teacher who constantly goes beyond the call of duty to help the students that she serves. She makes learning fun and exciting for our students by creating innovative ways to reach each individual child’s learning style. Mrs. Wing is always willing to help others and she has an outstanding rapport with parents.

“It is a pleasure to watch her teach and interact with our students on a daily basis”, says Principal Dr. Kiawana Kennedy.

Mrs. Michelle Wing has been a Kindergarten teacher for 19 years, 9 of which have been served at Hood Avenue Primary School. Mrs. Wing’s creative approach to education has landed her rave reviews by her student’s parents.

“In her unique way, she has allowed my children to express their own creativity all the while laying a solid foundation for their continued academic growth and success,” says parent and co-worker Dana Richmond. When questioned about her passion for teaching, Mrs. Wing says, “I love my job! It is so exciting to help children spread their "WINGS" and make learning an adventure.”

State Board Member Linda Zechmann to Hold Meeting in

Are you interested in learning more about public education in Georgia? Do you have suggestions that may help Georgia lead the nation in improving student achievement? If so, you may want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to speak directly to the State Board of Education Member Linda Zechmann representing your area – the First Congressional District.

Ms. Zechmann welcomes you to an open public hearing taking place on Thursday, April 17, 2008. The meeting will be held
from 7-8 p.m., at South Georgia College, Engram Student Union Building, 100 College Park Drive West, Douglas 31533.

Whether you’re a teacher, parent, student, or simply a concerned citizen – you are encouraged to take part in this important event. Your feedback is critical as the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Schools work together to insure that all Georgia students are receiving an excellent education.

Those wishing to speak at the meeting are asked to sign in when they arrive. For more information contact Ms. Lynn Roberts at 404-657-7410 or by e-mail: lroberts@doe.k12.ga.us

The Georgia Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services or activities. Individuals who need assistance or auxiliary aids for participation in this public forum are invited to make their needs known to Ms. Lynn Roberts, Georgia Department of Education at (404) 657-7410.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Senate Bill 458

Representative Matt Ramsey Talks about Senate Bill 458
Senator Chance Speaks at County Commission Meeting re: Senate Bill 458

Senate Bill 458 Amended; Allows School Systems to Determine Whether to Accept Students from Non-Accredited Systems!
From Rep. Matt Ramsey: Statement on Senate Bill 4583/26/08 (5:43 p.m.) I am pleased to report that the House Committee on Science and Technology has amended... More

Board of Education: Students in Non-accredited and Failing Schools Could Enroll in Other Districts
3/24/08 (6:24 p.m.) In light of the impending loss of accreditation by Clayton County Schools, a bill has been passed by the Georgia senate that... More

Peachtree City to Hold Special Called Meeting re: Clayton County Schools

The Mayor and Council of Peachtree City will hold a Special Called Meeting on Wednesday, April 2, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 151 Willowbend Road. The purpose of the meeting is to consider the following items

04-08-04 Consider Resolution Regarding State Action on the Loss of Accreditation of Clayton County Schools

Executive Session