Ga. Officials To Straighten Out Wrinkles In Education Plan

The U.S. Education Department suggested several changes to Georgia's education plan. Education Department officials asked Georgia to submit revisions by Dec. 29.
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A new federal law, called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires states to submit comprehensive education plans to the U.S. Education Department. Georgia received feedback on its proposal this week.

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The Education Department suggested several changes to Georgia’s plan. State education officials say they agree with most of them.

There are three recommendations Georgia officials don’t agree with. They all relate to the state’s accountability system, the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). However, officials say they can clarify those issues by explaining them in more detail.

“In general, U.S. ED didn’t have any problems with the content of our plan, or how we were approaching to meet the requirements or serve the students in our state,” said Allison Timberlake, Georgia’s interim deputy superintendent for assessment and accountability. “It was just some of these very specific, technical aspects of it that they had questions [about].”

Education Department officials asked Georgia to submit revisions by Dec. 29. However, the state can ask for an extension if needed.

“Given that most of this is just adding some additional, clarifying language, we probably won’t need an extension,” said Matt Jones, chief of staff for state schools Superintendent Richard Woods.

The Education Department did not refer to Gov. Nathan Deal’s refusal to sign off on the plan. Deal wanted the proposal to place more of an emphasis on testing, especially in younger grades.

If Georgia submits a revised version of its plan by Dec. 29, officials say they expect to hear whether U.S. ED accepts it by mid-January.