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DeKalb superintendent among 100 Most Influential Georgians

DeKalb superintendent among 100 Most Influential Georgians

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County School District Superintendent Michael Thurmond has been named to Georgia Trend magazine's latest list of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.

Thurmond has served as superintendent since February 2013. He is the only public schools superintendent to receive the honor.

His recognition in the magazine says:

The former commissioner of labor inherited a mess when he took over leadership of the third-largest school system in Georgia (100,000 students, 14,000 employees and a $1.2 billion budget). He stabilized the troubled district, built a $30 million surplus, improved student achievement and increased graduation rates. Along the way, he has enhanced the reputation as a leader and public education advocate.

DeKalb schools show growth on CCRPI

DeKalb schools show growth on CCRPI

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County's public school students are prepared for life after graduation.

According to the recently released College & Career Ready Performance Index, many of the county's elementary, middle and high schools demonstrated growth over last year.

The county's most improved schools include:

Elementary
* Indian Creek (+22.7 percentage points)
* Briar Vista (+22)
* Pleasantdale (+21.7)
* Chapel Hill (+19)
* Wynbrook (+14)

Middle
* Stephenson (+15.7)
* Columbia (+14.5)
* Salem (+7.8)
* Cedar Grove (+6.7)
* Druid Hills (+6.6)

High
* Towers (+8.1)
* Lakeside (+6.5)
* Lithonia (+6)
* Redan (+3.5)
* Chamblee (+1)

By comparison, Georgia's elementary schools saw a decrease of 5.2 percentage points, the state's middle schools saw a decrease of 1.4, and high school decreased by 3.4 points.

Fernbank Science Center to hold event for science teachers

Fernbank Science Center to hold event for science teachers

ATLANTA -- On Thursday, Nov. 13, Fernbank Science Center is having a science teacher appreciation night.

If you're a science teacher from anywhere, at any level, the center is welcoming you to come get a quick tour and presentation about what it has to offer.

There will also be door prizes and giveaways of extra teaching materials and supplies.

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 high school graduation rates were released Thursday.

This year's statewide average is 72.5 percent, up slightly from last year's 71.5 percent. It's also the third consecutive increase in the percentage of seniors who graduate from the state's public high schools.

MORE | Ga. graduation rates up this year

DeKalb County's 2014 graduation rate is 62.3 percent. At 100 percent, DeKalb Early College Academy in Stone Mountain and DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates tied for the county's highest graduation rate.

Other graduation rates in DeKalb County include:

AP exam participation: DeKalb County

AP exam participation: DeKalb County

(WXIA) -- More Georgia high school students are taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement exams.

Last school year, 89,806 Georgia students took 154,176 AP exams. That's an 8 percent increase in the number of participants and almost a 9 percent increase in the number of tests.

AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Passing scores of 3, 4 or 5 often allow the test-takers to earn college credit.

Georgia's seniors earned 86,075 passing scores on their AP exams in 2014, a 9.6 percent increase over 2013.

English Language and Composition was the state's most popular AP exam, followed by U.S. History and World History.

In DeKalb County, 4,857 students took 7,481 AP exams in 2014, and 2,955 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each DeKalb County public high school:

Arabia Mountain HS
289 students took 395 exams
114 passing scores

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has made free interactive digital textbooks available on its website.

Students, parents and educators are welcome to use the books, which feature games, discussion questions, quizzes and other study elements.

They are available for middle and high school courses in such subjects as language arts, math, science, social studies, electives and several world languages -- Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said students who have used the digital textbook have had much classroom success with them.

Visit gavirtuallearning.org to access the textbook materials.

Trethewey adds archives to Emory library

Trethewey adds archives to Emory library

ATLANTA -- A former U.S. Poet Laureate is donating her archives to a library at Emory University in Atlanta.

Natasha Tretheway's drafts, early unpublished writings and computers will join other collections at the university's Manuscript Archives and Rare Book Library. The library's collections include work by Alice Walker, Seamus Heaney and Salman Rushdie.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robin Forman says Tretheway's archives will help students learn about the creative process and the meaning of poetry. Tretheway is a faculty member at Emory and the Poet Laureate of Mississippi.

She served as U.S. Poet Laureate for two terms. Her work includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection "Native Guard."