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Beverly Hall testifies in pre-trial hearing

Beverly Hall testifies in pre-trial hearing

ATLANTA -- Former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall took the stand during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday.

Hall is among 34 educators charged in a system-wide test cheating scandal.

PHOTOS | Indicted APS educators

Hall's attorneys filed a motion to throw out information she gave to investigators looking into the cheating. Hall testified that she feared losing her job if she did not cooperate.

Defense attorneys argued the statements Hall gave were coerced because of her fear of termination. But Judge Jerry Baxter disagreed and denied the motion.

119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

(WXIA) -- More than 100 schools across Georgia will participate in this year's National Mix It Up at Lunch Day.

The annual event is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and was created in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month. Roughly 6,000 schools nationwide are expected to participate.

"Mix It Up is a positive step that schools can take to help create learning environments where students see each other as individuals and not just as members of a separate group," said Maureen Costello, director of the SPLC's Teaching Tolerance project. "When people step out of their cliques and get to know someone, they realize just how much they have in common."

On National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students are asked to sit with new friends in the cafeteria. Its goal is to foster understanding and respect among young people.

Participating schools in metro Atlanta include:

Ga. SAT scores hold steady for Class of 2013

Ga. SAT scores hold steady for Class of 2013

ATLANTA -- There was little change in SAT scores between Georgia's Class of 2013 and Class of 2012, the Georgia Department of Education announced Thursday.

About 75 percent of Georgia's high school seniors took the SAT in 2013, compared to 43 percent nationally. Georgia students earned a collective score of 1452 out of 2400 -- the same score as last year. The national average is 1498.

Overall, Georgia's senior increased two points in critical reading and decreased two points in math. The overall writing score stayed the same from 2012 to 2013. About 36 percent of Georgia's test takers met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark.

Beulah Heights University climbing the career ladder in ministry

Beulah Heights University climbing the career ladder in ministry

ATLANTA -- Beulah Heights University, one of the oldest Bible colleges in the Southeast located in historic Grant Park, recently celebrated its 95th birthday.

Whether you’re looking to climb the career ladder in ministry, leadership or business, Beulah Heights University has undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs designed to help ministers, church administrators, entrepreneurs and the communities they serve.

The community is invited to attend Discovery Days the week of September 16-21, 2013 to preview classes and campus life for free. Discovery Days will allow the prospective students to discover what BHU has to offer by attending classes of their choice (day and/or evening) for one week absolutely free.

Fulton County’s Priceless University wants to help young females to prepare for their future

Fulton County’s Priceless University wants to help young females to prepare for their future

ATLANTA -- Fulton County wants female tweens and teens to participate in Priceless University, a “college prep” program that focuses on self-enrichment and self-development courses. The Office of Children and Youth is recruiting middle and high school female youth to participate in the two-year leadership skills development program that provides the tools for young women to reach their “Priceless” potential outside of academics. 

Priceless University offers weekly classes to enhance the knowledge and skills of participants.  The following courses are just a few examples of the courses offered: College Readiness, Business Etiquette, Career Placement Assessments, Financial Literacy, CPR/First Aid Certification, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Public Speaking and Global Competition. 

Program participants meet on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. After completing the two-year curriculum, students graduate from the program.

Consultant pleads guilty in APS kickback scheme

Consultant pleads guilty in APS kickback scheme

ATLANTA -- A Kennesaw man has pleaded guilty to being part of a kickback scheme involving Atlanta Public Schools.

Mahendra Patel admitted in federal court that he conspired with APS chief information officer Jerome Oberlton to benefit from a certain firm receiving a $780,000 computer project from the school district.

"Patel subverted the fairness of the contracting process for his own benefit and ultimately undermined the trust taxpayers place in APS to provide high-quality educational services," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.

Oberlton pleaded not guilty in federal court in June. His trial date has not yet been set.

2012 Ga. Schools of Excellence named

2012 Ga. Schools of Excellence named

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education has identified the state's 2012 Schools of Excellence.

The annual honor is presented in two categories: Highest Performance and Highest Progress. Fourteen schools made the cut in each area.

"These schools are the epitome of excellence," Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "I offer my congratulations to our 2012 Georgia Schools of Excellence."

Barge added that he plans to visit all 28 schools at some point during the school year.

Metro Atlanta's Schools of Excellence include:

Atlanta Public Schools
* KIPP STRIVE Academy, Southwest Atlanta (Progress)

Bremen City
*Jones ES (Performance)

Clayton County
* Elite Scholars Academy, Morrow (Performance)

Cobb County
* Garrison Mill ES, Marietta (Progress)
* Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy (Progress)