The Smartboard Briefs

10/11/2013, 3:56 p.m.

(News about education from around the globe.)

ATLANTA - Businesses won’t fund the search for Atlanta’s next school superintendent, though private money could still double the salary of the school system’s next leader. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/1ff6AvQ) that the Atlanta Board of Education on Monday voted unanimously to use taxpayer money for the $146,000 nationwide superintendent search. The board delayed making any decision on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s proposal to boost the superintendent’s salary with private money. Reed has said that enough money has been raised from the business community to more than double the salary of the city’s next school superintendent to around $600,000. Reed said he’s secured $1.5 million from private donors that could be distributed over a five-year period.

89 pct. of Va. students graduate on time in 2013

RICHMOND, Va. - About 89 percent of Virginia’s high school graduates earned their diplomas on time this year, compared to 88 percent in 2012, Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday. During the same period, the statewide dropout rate fell from 6.5 percent to 5.9 percent. Black students’ graduation rate increased 1.4 points to 84.1 percent. Their dropout rate declined from 9.3 percent to 8.7 percent. Hispanic students’ graduation rate rose 2.4 points to 83.3 percent. Their dropout rate fell from 13.6 percent to 11.7 percent. Overall, the percentage of students who earn a diploma in four years has increased by 7.8 points since 2008. Black students’ on-time graduation rate has increased 10.1 points and Hispanic students’ on-time graduation rate has risen by 12.1 points during the same period.

Mediation urged in Maryland black colleges lawsuit

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Civil rights lawyers are hoping Maryland will embrace mediation to remedy a court ruling that found duplicative academic programs at predominantly white colleges have prevented four historically black colleges from attracting students of all races. Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said Tuesday he hopes the ruling will bring the state to the table to remedy a constitutional violation of students’ civil rights. He says a remedy could include bringing high-demand programs to the historically black colleges. Samantha Kappalman, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley, says the state disagrees with the finding on duplicative programs and is reviewing all options, including resolving the issue through constructive mediation. In a 60-page ruling on Monday, U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake deferred entering judgment, pending mediation.

Not many UNC-CH students sign up for new classes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Officials at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill say there has been no rush by students and graduates to sign up for classes to replace fraudulent ones they took in the African and Afro-American Studies Department. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported (http://bit.ly/GKEZEB ) the university officials said only one student has signed up for a makeup course and one graduate has asked about them. School spokeswoman Dee Reid says 46 students are at risk of not graduating unless they complete an extra course. An investigation determined that 384 students and alumni took 39 fraudulent classes between 1997 and 2009 in the African and Afro-American Studies department. The head of the department and a former department manager left the school in the aftermath of the investigation.