Gov. Deal Expresses Doubts About Georgia’s Education Plan

Feb 1, 2018 by

The U.S. Education Department approved Georgia’s new statewide education plan, even though Gov. Nathan Deal didn’t sign it. Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

Martha Dalton –

The U.S. Education Department has approved Georgia’s statewide education plan, a requirement of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Georgia’s blueprint redesigns the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). The new system grades schools based on achievement, progress and graduation rates.

“Thousands of Georgians – parents, students, educators, policymakers, members of the business community – gave us their feedback as we worked to create our state’s ESSA plan,” State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods said in a news release. “We listened and heard that Georgians want a K-12 education system that supports the whole child; a system that produces students who are not just college- and career-ready, but ready for life. This plan is a direct response to that feedback, and reflects our continued focus on expanding opportunities for Georgia’s students.”

The plan takes into account a school’s progress with subgroups of students, like English Language Learners or students with special needs. Schools can also earn credit for providing fine arts programs, foreign language instruction and Advanced Placement courses.

Despite approval from the U.S. Education Department, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal expressed concerns Monday.

“I think there are still deficiencies in the plan,” Deal said. “I think it is impossible to get a good idea of where students are progressing if you allow situations where you can keep your worst students out of testing.”

Deal was referring to a federal requirement that schools test 95 percent of their students in math and reading/Language Arts. Georgia’s plan adjusts the achievement rate calculation for schools that fall below that threshold.

“What we proposed is actually more rigorous than what was in statute,” Georgia Deputy Superintendent of Assessment and Accountability Allison Timberlake said in a phone interview last month. “Had we just applied what was in statute, it actually, in some cases, could increase the achievement rate for schools.”

Now that the Education Department has approved Georgia’s plan, officials can implement it. The Department of Education will apply the new CCRPI calculations for the 2017-18 school year.

Source: Gov. Deal Expresses Doubts About Georgia’s Education Plan | 90.1 FM WABE

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