published Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Grants awarded for math, science education in Georgia

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ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday he’s giving out $19 million in grants aimed at improving science and math education in Georgia as part of the state’s Race to the Top program.

The money is going to schools and programs that focus on STEM subjects — or science, technology, engineering and mathematics — and help prepare educators to teach those subjects. For example, Charles R. Drew Charter School in Atlanta will get $1 million to partner with Georgia State University and Georgia Tech to create one of the state’s first schools focused on science, math, technology and arts.

“The projects selected for awards during this first round represent truly innovative and collaborative approaches to educating students,” Deal said in a written statement. “We look forward to scaling the best of these practices to other schools across the state.”

Teach for Georgia, a teacher pipeline program modeled after Teach for America, will get $1 million to recruit Georgia Tech students majoring in STEM subjects to be teachers in rural Georgia districts. Three school districts — White, Hall and Lumpkin counties — will form a partnership with North Georgia College & State University to create a STEM charter school with a $50,000 planning grant.

The Knowledge is Power Program charter school teacher fellowship will get $1 million to train Georgia State University and Mercer University College of Education graduates and then deploy them to metro Atlanta schools where they are most needed.

The state picked the winners out of 70 applicants. More grants will be awarded later.

The money is part of the $400 million grant Georgia won last year from the federal Race to the Top competition. Georgia was one of 11 states and Washington, D.C., to win money from a $4 billion pot.

The federal competition aims to encourage states to create innovative programs that help improve student achievement and turn around low-performing schools.

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