ATLANTA (AP) - Just four teacher-training programs at Georgia's college and universities have earned high marks on a national survey that examined more than 1,000 programs. The review by the National Council on Teacher Quality was released Tuesday and found colleges' education programs are not adequately preparing future teachers. The review criticized their admission standards, training and value.
The ratings were based on a set of key standards, such as instructing prospective teachers how to implement the Common Core academic standards, teach non-native English speakers and manage classrooms. Colleges and universities were rated on a four-star system. In Georgia, five teaching programs received the lowest rating of no stars with a consumer alert designation. Spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Tim Callahan, says questions have been raised about the report's methodology.
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Forty-two youngsters have advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. They had the highest scores after Wednesday's onstage rounds and a computer test that included a vocabulary section for the first time in bee history.
The officials originally announced 41 semifinalists, but added one more after a review of the written test. The semifinals are Thursday afternoon. The finals are set for Thursday night, with the winner taking home more than $30,000 in cash and prizes. Among the contenders is 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali, who finished third each of the past two years. Arvind breezed through his two words - "euphemism" and "belemnoid."
ATLANTA (AP) - U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the Obama administration is committed to finding the money to fund a national expansion of early learning programs. Duncan said during a Friday visit to an Atlanta elementary school that the administration was looking at all options - not just the president's proposal to spend $75 billion over the next decade with the help of higher cigarette taxes.
Gov. Nathan Deal joined Duncan during a town hall meeting and suggested the Obama administration consider using block grants, saying he was opposed to any increase in taxes. Duncan later said "for me, the goal is to get this done," reiterating the president's commitment to find creative ways to fund the massive expansion.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - An architect known around the world for his unique modern designs is visiting coastal Georgia to address the latest graduating class of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Architect Moshe Safdie was scheduled to address more than 1,600 graduates Saturday at the Savannah art college's commencement ceremony.
Safdie is known for his work on the Holocaust History Museum in Israel, the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada and the U.S. Institute of Peace headquarters in Washington. He also designed the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, which opened in 2006 and added a shocking touch of modern flair to the city's downtown historic district.
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's top court is considering whether the governor can remove members of troubled school boards and name new ones. DeKalb County School Board member Eugene Walker has filed a federal lawsuit asking that a judge declare as unconstitutional a law that allowed him to be suspended from his government post.
Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this year suspended six school board members, including Walker, after an evaluation agency placed the district's accreditation at risk. A federal judge requested that Georgia's Supreme Court rule on whether the 2010 law allowing the removal of school boards conflicts with the state constitution, which says schools should be under the control of local education boards. The court is also considering whether the General Assembly exceeded its powers by allowing the removal of school board members.
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