Georgia beats national average for K-12 achievement, report shows

Georgia ranks 13th in the nation for K-12 achievement, according to Education Week's 2019 Quality Counts report released last week.

Georgia's K-12 Achievement score of 74.4 was also higher than the national average of 73.0. The K-12 Achievement component is based primarily on students' math and reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation's Report Card. The measurement also takes into account a state's graduation rate and Advanced Placement (AP) test scores.

"We've set a course in our state toward a different kind of educational system — one that prioritizes a whole-child, well-rounded education instead of piling more and more layers of testing, accountability, and bureaucracy onto our schools," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in a statement. "Our work is certainly not finished, but we're moving in the right direction, and I continue to see indicators that this strategy is working. I'm confident we've got the partnerships in place — from the Department of Education to the Governor's Office to the legislature, along with strong leadership at the local level — to keep that positive trend going."

The report also shows Georgia ranks third in the nation for the increase in students' NAEP math scores from 2003 to 2017, and fourth for the increase in students' NAEP reading scores from 2003 to 2017.


STEM School senior participates in BASF Science Academy

A senior from Chattanooga's STEM School was one of 20 high school seniors from across the country that were selected to attend BASF's Science Academy at Fairleigh Dickinson University this summer.

Angelica Ramirez attended the program this summer, where she had the opportunity to work on hands-on projects and visit industry facilities like Lush Cosmetics and BASF's research and development facility in Tarrytown, New York. Students also each earned three transferable college credits this summer.

"Students have the opportunity to follow their interests and get fully immersed in science and marketing at BASF's Science Academy," BASF in North America vice president of corporate communications and chief communications Robin Rotenberg said in a press release. "We are always looking for more professionals in the sciences and this two-week program, as part of our STEM education initiatives, really offers students the opportunity to explore potential career paths."


Hixson senior represents Tennessee at 2019 American Legion Boys Nation

Amrit Pagar, a senior and Air Force JROTC Cadet at Hixson High School, attended the 2019 American Legion Boys Nation in the Washington, D.C. area over the summer after being selected as one of two senators to represent Tennessee.

Boys Nation is an annual American Legion program that includes civic training, leadership development and a focus on Americanism. Pagar was previously elected county executive at the 2019 Tennessee Boys State, with about 440 participants.

At Hixson, Pagar has served as Junior Class President, orchestra manager and currently serves as the Air Force JROTC Cadet Group deputy commander. He is a recipient of the AFJROTC Distinguished Cadet Badge and a graduate of the Mountaineer Cadet Officer Leadership School. A resident of Hixson, Pagar plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to study computer science and pursue a career in the U.S Air Force.

During the eight days at Boys Nation, the 100 participating student senators learned how the U.S. Senate and the federal government function and participated in activities like conducting party conventions, writing bills and successful passing legislation. Participants also toured national landmarks in D.C. including Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall, and Korean War Memorial.

If you have news about local schools you'd like included in Class Notes, email Meghan Mangrum at