Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Laymen’s Guide to Student Testing Schedule

Overview of Education Testing in Georgia Schools

State and National testing programs are administered to Georgia’s students as a means for educators, parents and the students themselves to measure educational progress against benchmarks and goals appropriate for a grade and age group. The results for many tests taken in the 2007-2008 school year will be announced between April and July.

The tests include:
Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT)
Students in Grades 1-8 take this test. Some sections of the test determine if students in Grades 3, 5 and 8 move onto the next grade. The CRCT is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the curriculum standards know as Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC).

End of Course Tests (EOCT)
The EOCT align with the Georgia curriculum standards and include assessment of specific content knowledge and skills for students in Grades 9-12. Core subjects include:
Mathematics: Algebra I and GeometrySocial Studies: United States History and Economics/Business/Free Enterprise
Science: Biology and Physical Science
English Language Arts: Ninth Grade Literature and Composition and American Literature and Composition

Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT)
To earn a high school diploma, students must pass the Georgia High School Graduation Tests in four content areas as well as the Georgia Writing Assessment. Students in Grade 11 take the Writing Assessment in the fall and tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies occur in the spring.

Georgia Writing Assessments
Georgia’s Writing Assessments are performance-based writing assessments administered to students in Grades 3, 5, 8 and 11.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress
This program is administered in Grades 4, 8 and 12.

Click here for more information from the Georgia Department of Education.

Click here for information on Georgia’s Education Scoreboard.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings - or Dies

First row (L-R): Maribel Montgomery, Dylan Brooks, Kayla Brown, KayC Wilson, Kristen Pickren, Mark Lawson, Vinny Edwards, Whitney West, Terri Greene.
Back row (L-R): Steven Beam, DeLucus Moore, Wes Seabolt, Alicia Duncan, Meggan Pierce.

Report by Shirley Dillard

MCHS Choral Students Re-enact Operatic Death Scenes

Madison County High School choral students were treated by Georgia Public Broadcasting to free passes to see the "Live from the Met" broadcast of Manon Lescaut at a local theater. Relative novices to the world of grand opera, the students commented on the length of time the heroine, dying of thirst on a plain in Louisiana, was able to sing. Their director Shirley Dillard capitalized on their interest by creating a project that timed the dying scenes of heroes and heroines in opera. Teams were instructed to find a synopsis of an assigned opera to find out who died, how and why they died. They then listened to the death scene and timed how long it took the character to die. The students arrived at a subsequent class ready to "die as their character died" for the above photo.

The mortally wounded characters, the means of their death and the length of their death scene in the first row (L-R) are Isolde (broken heart, 23 mins. 2 secs.) with Tristan (sword fight, 3 mins. 25 sec.); Suor Angelica (poison, 3 mins.); Manon Lescaut (dehydration, 20 mins.); Silvio in Pagliacci (stabbed, 40 secs.); Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, (guillotined, 9 mins. 41 secs.) In the back row (L-R) are Werther (self-inflicted gunshot, 13 mins. 19 secs.); Carmen (stabbed, 1 min.); and the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, (immolation, 32 secs.).

And the winner is…. (drum roll, please)…. Isolde, who takes a full three minutes longer to die than does Manon Lescaut.

Project Description

From the Metropolitan Opera website:

The Met’s experiment of merging film with live performance has created a new art form,” said the Los Angeles Times of the groundbreaking series of live, high-definition performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world. The series enjoyed box office success, reaching an estimated audience of more than 325,000 viewers. In 2007-08, the Met offers its second season of international HD transmissions…

Click here for more information on the Metropolitan Opera.

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) shared a set of 10 tickets for each of the Met’s High Definition performances at selected theaters with interested Georgia music educators and their students. The Georgia Music Educators Association through the current Chair of Choral Music ( Renee Wilson-Wicker) collaborated on the coordination of this opportunity.

It allows the Georgia educators and students to benefit from a project that combines the best resources of one of America’s finest cultural institutions with new technology.

Participation in the project supports the QCC Fine Arts Standards and GPS Viewing Standards.

Click here for more information on the Georgia Music Educators Association.

We Want Your Videos!

GPB has now made it even easier for you to share your Georgia Graduation Stories. Just go to:


And follow these simple instructions:

1. Register for an account (we will never share your information with third parties because we hate spam just as much as you do).
2. Login
3. Fill out the simple form.
4. Done!

We'll receive a notification that you've uploaded a video. Once we approve it, you'll see it on this website!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mark Your Calendar! Set Your DVR!

On Sunday, May 25, 2008, Georgia Public Broadcasting will air an encore presentation of Defying the Odds. The program will air at 4:00pm on Georgia Public Broadcasting's television channels.

In 1988, the Merrill Lynch Foundation promised 250 inner-city student in Atlanta and other U.S. cities full scholarships to the college of their choice. The only requirement from the students was that they graduate from high school and get accepted into college. The Atlanta students were 25 members of the the first grade class at Capital View Elementary School in southwest Atlanta.

In 1998, GPB's Emmy-winning team of producer/director Pamela Roberts and Videographer Wayne Baumgardner began the three year project of filming five of the Atlanta students. Defying the Odds introduces us to these students and their efforts to take advantage of the Merrill Lynch promise. The story also shares the challenges that face these students.

Click here to view the Defying the Odds website.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Two Groups Collaborate for Student Success

Graduation Coaches Meet TIE Network Members

Student success and technology resources for the classroom were two of the topics set for the first ever gathering of Metro Atlanta Graduation Coaches and members of the Technology in Education (TIE) Network.

DeVry University served as host for this March event. Jeanne Johnson-Watley, Director of External Affairs, welcomed us then shared valuable information of the scholarships DeVry offers Georgia high school students.

Click here for more information on DeVry University.

Barbara O’Brien introduced the Georgia Graduation Stories blog to the group and encouraged everyone to share their students’ journeys to toward the goal of high school graduation for inclusion in the blog.

Katherine Aiken invited us to join her in one of DeVry’s computer labs for a hands-on exploration of the valuable resources available to educators through the TIE Network. Georgia Public Broadcasting launched the TIE Network in January, 2007. This rapidly growing group of Georgia educators share ideas, offer support and collaborate with each other to integrate digital media into their classrooms. The spirit of collegiality that TIE is known for was quite evident during this evening’s event. Click here for more information on the TIE NETWORK.

Graduation Coach Barbara Santiago and TIE member April Swain were winners of two Pure Digital Fip video cameras for their respective schools.

Click here for more information on Graduation Coaches/Communities in Schools.

Click here to see more pictures.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Georgia Youth Create Art

Visit A Virtual Gallery Highlighting the Art of Georgia Students

For the third year, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and the Georgia Art Education Association have collaborated to turn the Capitol Art Exhibit into a virtual gallery once the annual display at the Twin Towers in Atlanta is dismantled. GPB assigns a photographer to take pictures of the selected work submitted by students from all over Georgia and their art teachers. The photographs are then added to GPB's Digital Library along with the artist's name, age, school and the name of the art teacher. In this way, the annual Capitol Art Exhibit lives on beyond the one month it was on view in Atlanta. A virtual gallery allows students, parents and educators to view these special creations in an on-demand setting.

Click here to connect to GPB's Digital Library. You can click on the thumbnail to create a larger image of the work.

The Capitol Art Exhibit is an annual event cosponsored by the Georgia Art Education Association and the Office of the Secretary of State and is the premier event of Youth Art Month. The purpose of the exhibit is to share with Georgia legislators and the public the exceptional creative ability of Georgia's students.

Click here to learn more about the Georgia Art Education Association.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Free Screenigs of Youth Media Projects

Here is an announcement from Phoebe Brown, Independent Producer and former GPB Intern for C-47: GA Short Film Showcase. She has two projects in the Teen Screen schedule of the '08 Atlanta Film Festival. Details below:

I have two projects from Niklas Vollmer's Community Based Media Project I produced, shot by refugee teens @ Clarkston High School. The student director for both projects is Yonatan Araya who is a junior at Clarkston High School. He is an Eritrean refugee. He has been a volunteer at Sopo bikes for 2 years and is interested in filmmaking and bike racing.

No More War in the Teen Screen: Born in the USA Program

Monday April 14th @ 12:30pm Landmark Midtown #8

SOPO Bikes: A Community Bike Shop in the Teen Screen: Teens Speak Up and Speak Out! Program

Tuesday April 15th @ 4:30pm Landmark Midtown #8

Rachael, an Emory grad, directs the Sopo Bicycle Cooperative. She says that Yonatan came to
them as an intern a couple summers ago and has been there ever since as a
member of the organizing collective, bike mechanic, youth mentor, and all
around superstar. We're so proud of him.

Sopo Bicycle Cooperative
is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community bicycle repair shop. Our mission is to create equitable access to bicycling by providing affordable bicycle maintenance, services, and education. At our shop anyone can repair their own bike, help others with their repairs, learn about bike maintenance, become a volunteer, and donate to the cause. No experience is necessary! Our volunteers will help you. Show up with your bike during our operating hours and we'll get to work together! The Sopo shop is located in the East Atlanta Village. Click here to visit the Sopo website.

Phoebe's invitation: If you've got middle or high school aged kids (or friends who do) these are great free screenings. Also useful for anyone teaching production or doing work on new media/youth. Please pass along to anyone who might be interested.

Click here for information on the Midtown Art Cinema
Atlanta, GA

Click here for information on the Atlanta Film Festival

Friday, April 4, 2008

How Has GAcollege411 Served You?

Share Your Story

GAcollege411 is an on-line resource designed to help Georgia students plan, apply and pay for college. Click here for information on this free service.

Let GPB know how this service has helped you in your journey to complete high school and move on to your choice of higher education. Selected stories will appear in the Georgia Graduation Stories blog.

Submissions can be sent in the following formats:

Text Document: digital

Digital Pictures: JPG, GIF, or PNG

Video Clips (30 min. or less): MOV, AVI, MPEG, or WMV

Audio Clips: MP3

Submission Guidelines or Questions

Barbara O’Brien, Senior Education Project Manager, GPB




Help is Available for Georgia Students!

Graduation from High School is the hallmark of spring each year for many Georgia students. The months leading up to graduation can be less stressful for students as they navigate the transition to post secondary education. GAcollege 411 is a free, on-line resource that helps students plan, apply and pay for college.

It is never too early to be organized in your thoughts and plans for your education goals. High school students on a traditional or alternative education path as well as adult learners will find valuable information on this website. Matching skills to a career choice, studying for SAT and ACT, financial aid and scholarships are just some of the available services. For some, the Student Planner Timeline alone will be worth the mouse click.

GAcollege411 is a state service provided to Georgia citizens by the Georgia Student Finance Commission along with many Georgia partner organizations and agents.

Click here for more information.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Useful Tool

The Education Scoreboard

For those who love sports, a scoreboard is a helpful tool. Fans, players and game officials alike all look to the scoreboard to see where things stand for a favorite player or team. The scoreboard is one tool that provides a snapshot of current standings and the scores off the board contribute to building trends and making decisions big and small.

Georgia citizens now have a scoreboard of their own. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement launched Georgia’s Education Scoreboard in January, 2008.

The Education Scoreboard offers data in a wide variety of categories for Georgia’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and technical colleges. Users of this tool can search for information on a particular school and compare that data against school systems in Georgia, southeastern states, or the nation.

Click here for more information: