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Students encouraged to read this summer

Students encouraged to read this summer

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has created a 2014 Summer Reading Challenge for students in all grades.

The program was announced Thursday at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Cobb County. Its goal is to close the achievement gap that widens during the summer months, when children often don't read.

"No student should have to start the school year having fallen behind," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. "That's what we know, and that's what we're committed to preventing, because that loss is preventable."

The challenge encourages students to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day. The GDOE outlined suggested summer goals for children based on their school years:

* K-2: 10 books
* 3-5: 8 chapter books
* 6-12: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books

3 Fayette students named Georgia Scholars

3 Fayette students named Georgia Scholars

(WXIA) -- Three students at two Fayette County high schools have been named 2014 Georgia Scholars by the Georgia Department of Education.

A Georgia Scholar is a high school senior who has "achieved excellence in school and community life," according to the GDOE. Only 116 students statewide earned the title this year.

To achieve the honor, a student must take challenging courses and earn high grades in them, participate in extracurricular activities and take part in interscholastic events within the school and community.

Fayette County's 2014 Georgia Scholars include:

Fayette County HS
* Menaka Reddy

Whitewater HS
* Cecilia Esterline
* Sam McDonald

College and Career Readiness: Fayette County

College and Career Readiness: Fayette County

ATLANTA – We now have the latest information on how well Georgia students are performing academically.

The Georgia Department of Education released its latest College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) Monday morning.

The CCRPI measures on a scale from 1-100 how schools are performing. It adds another 10 points to schools with students enrolled in high-level academic courses or with high performing students in certain areas, including special education, those learning English and in high poverty areas.

To make sure there is an "apples to apples" comparison of the scores, the state has revised last year's numbers to make them more in-line with this year's calculations.

The state first released the CCRPI in 2012 as a new statewide accountability system. The release of the scores in May 2013 was considered a "study year." The DOE received feedback from school district and this year revised the CCPRI.

Race this weekend: Inman 5K and 1-Mile Off-Road Run

Race this weekend: Inman 5K and 1-Mile Off-Road Run

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- Inman Elementary School will hold its 6th annual off-road run this weekend.

The fun will be held Saturday, Apr. 19 at 8 p.m. Registration is $25 and can be completed at active.com.

Inman Elementary is located at 677 Inman Road in Fayetteville.

4 Fayette high schools among America's Most Challenging

4 Fayette high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Four Fayette County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

1031. McIntosh HS
1338. Starr's Mill HS
1635. Whitewater HS
1828. Fayette County HS

See the full list at washingtonpost.com.

Fights in schools: Fayette County

Fights in schools: Fayette County

(WXIA) -- This week, 11Alive News received a shocking video clip from a viewer. The footage showed a teenage boy being repeatedly punched in the face in a locker room at Parkview High School in Gwinnett County.

WATCH | Teen beaten at school

The video prompted an investigation into reports of violence and fights in Georgia's public schools. The Georgia Department of Education provided 11Alive News with four years' worth of discipline incident reports for every school in the state.

WATCH | 11Alive's Doug Richards investigates violence at school

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.