Georgia | Understanding ESSA



April 30, 2015

GA: Education Officials Open Survey on Proposed Math Standards Changes

March 28, 2021

Georgia education officials have opened a public survey on proposed changes to the state’s mathematics standards. After a year-long delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Board of Education plans to vote on the proposed standards by late spring. The changes to the standards,...

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State Grants Aim to Improve Rural Student Access to STEM/STEAM Programs

December 23, 2020

Georgia education officials announced that nearly $250,000 is being awarded to seven rural school districts to increase access to STEM and STEAM education programs. “Through this grant program and others,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said, “we’re working to ensure schools in rural Georgia have the...

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Georgia DOE Tweaks Assessment Strategy for 2020-21 After Denied Waiver Request

September 24, 2020

In response to the decision by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to not grant additional testing waivers to states for the 2020-21 school year, Georgia State Superintendent Richard Woods announced how the state will rethink their approach to administering assessments in the winter and spring. Citing...

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Georgia DOE Requests Input on Seeking Standardized Testing Waiver for 2020-2021 School Year with New Online Survey

June 29, 2020

As previously reported, Georgia has become the first state to announce its intent to seek a federal testing waiver for the 2020-21 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials at the Georgia Department of Education are now asking the public for feedback on this...

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp To Seek Federal Testing Waiver for the 2020-21 Academic Year

June 18, 2020

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reports that Georgia will be the first state that will pursue a federal testing waiver for the 2020-21 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This school year, Education Secretary Betsy Devos approved a one-year waiver that suspended “federally...

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To Foster Parent Engagement, Rural Districts Should Focus on Building Trust

February 23, 2020

In a piece published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, education expert Christopher Holmes outlines what rural school districts can do to facilitate greater parent engagement. Namely, Holmes writes, “to meet the goals of parent and family engagement policy in ESSA, educators must abandon their own middle-class...

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Georgia DOE Releases New List of Schools Receiving Special Academic Support

November 26, 2019

According to the updated list of schools receiving special academic support released by the Georgia Department of Education, “47 Georgia schools rolled off the list” this year. As mandated by the Every Student Succeed Act, Georgia—like other states—keeps “track of high poverty schools or at-risk...

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Rural School Districts in Georgia Receive $3.6 Million to Assist with School Improvements

November 19, 2019

The Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) is awarding nine rural school districts across the state a total of $3.6 million in Rural Resource Grants to help in their school improvement efforts. According to State Chief Richard Woods, “Rural schools often face unique resource gaps that...

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Georgia School District Reaches New Academic Heights

November 4, 2019

Glynn County Schools in Georgia made “momentous gains on the recently released 2019 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).” The district outperformed state averages and, according to the Georgia Department of Education, received “the highest score ever recorded in Glynn County Schools history.” The...

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Georgia Ed Department Releases Targeted Schools List

December 4, 2018

According to All On Georgia, last week, the Peach State’s Education Department released the first list of Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools under ESSA. These schools fall into one of two categories: 1. those with “at least one subgroup performing in the lowest 5%...

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GA Identifies Struggling Schools

November 2, 2018

Ty Tagami reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia’s Department of Education has released its first list of schools “in need of additional support.” These 103 schools officially fall into the state’s Comprehensive Support & Improvement category, which is “derived from the College and Career Ready Performance Index,...

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Innovative Assessment Decisions Raise Concerns in Georgia

October 15, 2018

Writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, columnist Maureen Downey is skeptical of the Georgia Board of Education’s recent approval of three pilot tests via ESSA’s Innovative Assessments program. “The danger here is that you dial back expectations,” she quotes Fordham’s Amber Northern. “If you are going...

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Georgia “Wants In” on Innovative Assessment Pilot

October 4, 2018

Alyson Klein reports in Education Week that Georgia, which has announced their intention to apply for ESSA’s Innovative Assessment pilot, is taking a bit of a different approach by running “its own miniature innovative assessment competition,” which “ended up giving three consortia of districts the...

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Report Highlight’s Local County Efforts for Military Students

September 22, 2018

In the Augusta Chronicle, Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer, authors of a recent report from the Lexington Institute, write about the mission, rollout and implementation of ESSA’s Military Student Identifier and “highlighted the compelling work at the Columbia County School District in serving its military-connected...

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Georgia ESSA Waiver in Action

April 14, 2018

Thom Chandler reports for the Georgia Sun that the U.S. Department of Education has approved a waiver for Georgia that “will keep some middle school students from unnecessary testing.” Currently, middle school students who take high school classes have to take both the middle school...

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Georgia, Utah, and Puerto Rico Plans Sent Back

December 15, 2017

Sec. DeVos issued additional feedback for three state ESSA plans. Alyson Klein notes that it is “unclear” if states need to revise plans based on feedback, and that some states in the spring “got the federal seal of approval even if they didn’t change things the...

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Times Are A-Changing Georgia’s School Accountability System

November 5, 2017

The Rome Tribune News reports Georgia’s school accountability system—the College and Career Ready Performance Index—could “experience a number of changes” if the state’s ESSA plan is approved; these changes are part of an effort to “move away from ‘a narrow focus on test scores alone.’”

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GA Prioritizes Narrowing the Achievement Gap

October 30, 2017

NNPA’s Dr. Elizabeth Primas 30 writes that “Georgia is making every effort to ensure that students have a better chance of performing at proficient or advanced levels on all state exams” under ESSA, which “prioritizes narrowing the achievement gap.”

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State Plan Submissions and Drafts

October 17, 2017

Approved State Plans Alabama: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Alaska: Final Plan Approved (5/16/18) Arizona: Final Plan Approved (9/6/17) Arkansas: Final Plan Approved (1/16/18) Colorado: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Connecticut: Final Plan Approved (8/15/17) Delaware: Final Plan Approved (8/2/17) District of Columbia: Final Plan Approved (8/28/17) Georgia:...

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GA Governor says State ESSA Plan Falls Short in Setting High Expectations

October 2, 2017

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that, while Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods is pushing to take advantage of testing flexibility under ESSA, Governor Nathan Deal “opposes a retreat from test scores as a critical determinant of school performance.” Governor Deal has refused to put his signature on Georgia’s ESSA...

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GA Submits ESSA Plan to U.S. Dept. of Ed

September 15, 2017

On Monday, Georgia submitted its ESSA plan to the Dept. of Education, whose proponents say “increases the flexibility and incentives for school districts to give the state’s nearly 1.8 million public school students what they need.” However, “some critics say it swings too far from...

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GA Dept. of Ed Releases Draft ESSA Plan for Public Comment

June 15, 2017

The Georgia Dept. of Education released the state’s draft ESSA plan for public review and comment. Superintendent Richard Woods commented, “I deeply appreciate the involvement of many of Georgia’s teachers, parents, school and district representatives, and community members in the ESSA public feedback process.” Woods...

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GA Dept. of Education to Review Feedback, Release Draft Plan

November 3, 2016

Georgia State School Chief Richard Woods noted that the Georgia Department of Education will review feedback gathered from listening sessions in January and release a draft plan, which will be revised, refined and prepared for final submission to the Dept. of Education in March.

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GA Dept. of Education Holds Twitter Chat

October 16, 2016

The Georgia Department of Education held a Twitter chat allowing stakeholders to share feedback on ESSA.

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State Superintendent Creates Parent Advisory Council

September 19, 2016

State Superintendent Richard Woods has created a 24-member Parent Advisory Council to provide guidance to the state Department on ESSA. The council met for the first time on Sept.12 to discuss various education topics including assessments and educator and leader development.

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GA Dept. of Education and State Superintendent Holding Public Feedback Sessions

August 22, 2016

The Georgia Dept. of Education and State School Superintendent Richard Woods will be holding eight public feedback sessions on ESSA across the state. Participants will choose specific topics to discuss in working groups, and be informed of next steps and additional opportunities to provide feedback....

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State Superintendent Sets Up Committees for ESSA Feedback

July 31, 2016

State Superintendent Richard Woods has set up seven committees to gather feedback on ESSA implementation and help write the state plan. Cobb Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck were chosen as members of Georgia’s working groups. Ragsdale is serving on the state advisory...

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GA State Superintendent Convening Committees for Public Feedback

July 22, 2016

Georgia State Superintendent Richard Woods is convening several committees to gather public feedback on the state’s new accountability plan. An Advisory Committee is creating a list of focus areas for the meetings as well as discussion points for the various working committees. These committees –...

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Releases State ESSA Primers

May 16, 2016

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s primers include individual state by state accountability system fact sheets, which detail each state’s current accountability system, what could change under ESSA, and what to be asking state leaders. See details about your state here.

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