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Teens experience homelessness through a special program

Teens experience homelessness through a special program

ATLANTA -- Early morning, in a locked playground, 14 middle school student s start day three of their five day homeless immersion course.

"How did y'all sleep last night?" said Elizabeth Hearn, Director, New Teacher Residency Project, Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School.

The kids have spent the night sleeping on the ground with one blanket each. They have no change of clothes. And they wear shoes donated to the homeless.

"We only have $4 and most of us already spent that on food," said student Evy DiSalvo.

With that $4 they bought dry ramin noodles, Pop-Tarts or bread that has become smashed up as they carry it with their blankets in garbage bags.

The students attend Atlanta's Neighborhood Charter Middle School and the Paideia School, and they were selected for the Homeless Immersion Project after writing an essay about their interest in the program.

APS searching for new superintendent

APS searching for new superintendent

ATLANTA -- The search is on for a new Atlanta Public Schools superintendent.

A search committee has been tasked with bringing the best and brightest person to Atlanta to lead the troubled district.

Errol Davis currently has the job, but on an interim basis. He was hired after Beverly hall resigned two years ago.

Monday night, the committee held the last of a series of community meetings, focus groups and online surveys to engage the public in discussing what they want in a superintendent. Committee members said it's important to involve the community in the search.

"This is a community position. There is nothing -- and I say that again -- nothing more important to our community than the children, their success in education and having a leader that can carry that for us," search committee chair Ann Cramer said.

Arraignment expected for DeKalb educator

Arraignment expected for DeKalb educator

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- One of three former DeKalb County educators accused of cheating on the CRC is due back in court Monday.

Indictments were handed down Tuesday for former Cedar Grove Middle School principal Agnes Flanagan, former Rock Chapel Elementary School principal Angela Jennings and former Stoneview Elementary School assistant principal Derrick Wooten.

"It's cheating and it's wrong and it's breaking the rules -- it's corruption," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said Tuesday. "It hurts children, and that's what this is all about."

According to the indictment, Jennings faces eight counts of public record fraud and eight counts of computer forgery.

Flanagan faces three charges each of making a false writing, public record fraud and first degree forgery.

APS hearings continue Monday

APS hearings continue Monday

ATLANTA -- Court hearings into the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal continued Monday.

Former state attorney general Mike Bowers is expected to speak. Bower is one of three special investigators appointed by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to investigate APS. The investigators' 400-page report formed the basis for the criminal investigation.

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Indicted APS educators

Hearings to begin in APS cheating scandal

Hearings to begin in APS cheating scandal

ATLANTA -- Three days of motions hearings are expected to begin Monday in Fulton County court regarding 35 educators charged with racketeering, lying to investigators and theft.

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Judge Jerry Baxter will oversee the proceedings where it will be argued whether the defendants should be tried separately or as a group.

On Sunday, Mayor Kasim Reed said he could not comment on the pending cases but is certain that systemic cheating in Atlanta's schools will never happen again.

High court to weigh in on DeKalb school board case

High court to weigh in on DeKalb school board case

ATLANTA -- Georgia's highest court is set to consider the constitutionality of a state law allowing the governor to remove school board members.

The Supreme Court of Georgia heard arguments Monday from lawyers for the state and for former DeKalb County school board chairman Eugene Walker.

The school district was put on probation by an accrediting agency in December. Gov. Nathan Deal in February issued an executive order removing Walker and five other school board members.

Walker is challenging the law that allowed that action. The federal judge presiding over the case has asked the state high court to consider two questions about the constitutionality of the law.

The court will hear arguments on those questions and submit its interpretation to the federal judge who will rule in the case.

Fulton County Schools see graduation rates on steady rise

Fulton County Schools see graduation rates on steady rise

FULTON COUNTY -- In 2012-2013 school year, the Fulton County School System saw an increase in graduation rates, continued from a 2011 rise. 

In 2011, seniors had a 70.1 percent graduation rate, followed by 71.3 percent for 2013, a spokeswoman for Fulton County Schools reported. Throughout the schools, nine saw the rise in rates. Roswell High School was among the top with a 12-point jump. 

"It's great that 71 percent of our students are successfully finishing high school, but that also means more than a quarter of our students are being left behind," Superintendent Robert Avossa said. "One of our strategic focuses is to increase graduation rates to 90 percent by 2017."

Avossa pointed out that support from parents and the community are key helpers to achieve Fulton County's graduation goal.