June 24, 2022 / Education

Learning loss due to the pandemic will likely have lasting effects for metro Atlanta students.Gallery

Learn4Life’s State of Education 2021 reveals a concerning trend: metro Atlanta students experienced interrupted learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eighth grade math proficiency dropped 14 points from the 2018/19 academic year to the 2020/21 academic year. Reading proficiency has also declined since the 2018/19 academic year, reversing progress made in the year prior to the pandemic. Teacher burnout has exacerbated challenges in education, making it likely that learning loss will have lasting effects and be difficult to reverse.

January 10, 2022 / Aging, Education, Equity

GPEE recently released their list of ten issues to watch in 2022 with the goal of ensuring 65% of GA’s residents aged 25-64 will hold a postsecondary credential by 2032.Insight

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) recently released their report listing the top ten issues to watch in 2022. The report highlights the lasting effects of the pandemic on education, especially for Georgia’s most vulnerable populations including students of color, low-income youth, rural residents, workers lacking postsecondary training, and adults caring for children and elders. GPEE is focusing on equity as the state recovers from the pandemic, and the list of ten issues to watch serves as a starting point for GPEE’s goal of ensuring 65% of GA’s residents aged 25-64 will hold a postsecondary credential by 2032. The ten issues are:

  1. Equity – Shifting Mindset and Strategy
  2. Unfinished Instruction – Equity through Acceleration
  3. Non-Academic Barriers – The School’s Role
  4. Improving School Culture – The Imperative of School Leaders
  5. Funding – School Transformation on a Deadline
  6. Accountability – What’s the Future?
  7. Early Learning – Protecting Investments in Early Learners
  8. Revamping the Teaching Profession – A New Moonshot
  9. Workforce Readiness – A Strategy that Pays Off
  10. Rural Transformation – From the Inside Out
November 18, 2021 / Education, Equity, Postsecondary

A new Learn4Life report found that 1,100 fewer students in metro Atlanta completed FAFSA applications during the pandemic with high-poverty schools seeing the biggest drop in completions.Image

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion has decreased by 4% during the past year. The pandemic has likely contributed to this decrease since students have had limited social support from peers and school staff to help them navigate the complex financial aid process. The drop in completions was especially pronounced in high-poverty schools which completed 27% less applications than other schools. FAFSA completion increases postsecondary enrollment from 55% to 90% and increases postsecondary persistence by 4% per $1000 in financial aid. Low-income students are disproportionately missing out on these benefits (Learn4Life).

Takeaway: Building capacity and opportunities for postsecondary enrollment and financial aid support should be prioritized in economically disadvantaged schools.

October 27, 2021 / Education, Mental Health, Policy

“School counselors in Georgia say they are overworked, understaffed” as demand for student mental health services increases.Insight

“Experts say the lack of counselors is impacting students now and could have implications for a proposal to raise the age when students must attend school from 16 to 17 that is under consideration by the Georgia Senate Study Committee on the Age of Mandatory Education…The mandated counselor-to-student ratio in Georgia is currently one counselor to every 450 students. The best practice ratio recommended by the American School Counselors Association is one counselor to every 250 students.” – Fresh Take Georgia

Takeaway: Focusing on retention and compensation for frontline social sector employees should be a high priority.

April 23, 2021 / Education, Workforce

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Of the 43,353 Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) credentials earned in the 2018–2019 school year, only 16% were aligned with workforce demand. (GPEE’s Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2021)

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Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) released its “Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2021” report, which includes:

  1. Equity – the imperative for recovery to success
  2. Funding – essential for achieving equity
  3. Early learning – the foundation for an inclusive economic recovery
  4. Delivery of instruction – new approaches to learning
  5. Teachers – professionalism, pay, and preparation
  6. Accountability and assessments – the opportunity to rethink and get it right
  7. Parent engagement– positioning families as partners
  8. Post-secondary completion – a pathway to prosperity
  9. Georgia’s workforce pipeline – creating equitable access and opportunities
  10. Reinventing education in Georgia – a call for leadership and collaboration

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The latest State of Education in Metro Atlanta report provides updates on key education indicators. Kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 8th grade math, and high school graduation are up.  Postsecondary enrollment and completion are down. Learn more in the report and webinar. And view school level data in the interactive dashboard. (Learn4Life)

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A large share of low-income clients are parents — especially moms — with school-age kids having incredible difficulty finding jobs that allow working from home. Unclear return-to-school plans and timing add to job search barriers. (Family Advancement Ministries)

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A lack of publicly accessible and detailed cradle-to-career pipeline data from state agencies (e.g., CAPS, CTAE eligibility and enrollment by race, geography, industry and otherwise) makes decision-making, planning, and evaluation around equity nearly impossible. (Metro Atlanta Chamber)

September 30, 2020 / Education, Postsecondary

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Designing and offering structure/processes for students to address academic, engagement, and/or campus life issues is generating nuanced and successful solutions. (Emory University, The Hatchery)

August 21, 2020 / Education, Health, Mental Health, Workforce

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Access to computers and internet supports (1) virtual learning, (2) job seeking and workforce development, and (3) access to telemedicine and mental health services (Mental Health America of Georgia)

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June 10, 2020 / Education

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Metro Atlanta expects to lose approximately 1½ years of education gains due to pandemic-related learning slide [report] (Learn4Life and redefinED Atlanta)