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Georgia Makes Education Gains, SREB Report Says

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Beth Day, SREB Director of Communications
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The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

Georgia Makes Greater Gains in High School Graduation Than Nation, Makes Other Education Improvements, SREB Report Says

Atlanta, Georgia - June 26, 2012 - Georgia improved public education by several key measures in the last decade, according to a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board.

Across the region, SREB states led the nation in gains since 2002 in areas such as student reading and math achievement and high school graduation rates. And they made this progress during the long economic downturn, rising child poverty rates, and rapid growth of an increasingly diverse population.

A Decade of Progress is a landmark look back at each state’s and the region’s education achievements since the states adopted 12 ambitious Challenge to Lead Goals for Education in 2002. Among the highlights:

  • Georgia’s statewide public pre-K program was one of only five in the nation to meet all 10 nationally recognized standards of quality in 2010.
  • Georgia served more than twice as many children in public pre-K as it had children living in poverty in 2010, helping more of its neediest children get ready for school.
  • From 2003 to 2011, Georgia’s black and Hispanic fourth- and eighth-graders narrowed achievement gaps with white students scoring in reading and math at or above the Basic level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In reading, the gap narrowed between black and white students by 3 points since 2003, and between Hispanic and white students by 6 points. In math, the gaps between black and white students narrowed by 2 points and between Hispanic and white students by 9 points over the period.
  • The increase in Georgia’s high school graduation rate outpaced the region’s and nation’s gains. Georgia’s rate rose 11 percentage points — to 68 percent — from 1999 to 2009.
  • Georgia’s black students narrowed the gap with white students on high school graduation over the period.
  • Student participation rates in Advanced Placement in Georgia — and “pass” rates on AP exams — exceeded national rates. In 2011, 38 percent of graduating seniors had
  • taken at least one AP exam in high school, up 18 percentage points from 2001.
  • In 2010, Georgia’s recent high school graduates enrolled in college at a higher rate (73 percent) than their regional or U.S. peers (67 percent for both).
 
“These gains 
are an important step forward and confirm that many of the policies Georgia has adopted are making a difference,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “Education has been a top priority for SREB states. The challenge ahead is to focus on what we know works to improve public education.”

Georgia: A Decade of Progress details the state’s demographic and income changes, school performance standards, pre-K through postsecondary student achievement, adult learning and job training, and more. Download the full PDF here.

The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states to improve public education: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

SREB tracks progress of its 16 member states on the Challenge to Lead Goals for Education, adopted by state leaders to help the region lead the nation in educational progress at all levels.

In addition to these state-by-state reports, in the coming weeks SREB will release analyses of region-wide progress on student achievement in NAEP scores, high school graduation rates and college completion trends. SREB expects to announce updated Goals for Education in September.

 
Georgia: A Decade of Progress

 
© 2012 Southern Regional Education Board. All rights reserved.
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