Georgia Education Officials To Discuss School Turnaround Plans

Georgia’s board of education will discuss next steps for school improvement at meetings Wednesday and Thursday.

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The Georgia Department of Education recently issued scores for the 2017 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). Most metro Atlanta school districts improved their overall scores.

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The Atlanta Public Schools saw a 3-point overall increase, with two-thirds of its schools raising their scores. The Fulton County School System also improved by 3 points. Its overall score of 78 is 3 points higher than the state average. DeKalb increased its overall score by 4 points.

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement drafted a new list of “turnaround eligible” schools, based on CCRPI data.

Both Atlanta and DeKalb launched school turnaround efforts of their own two years ago. Atlanta’s plan included closing some schools, merging others and changing leadership at some schools in need. DeKalb beefed up tutoring and instructional services. Both districts reduced the number of schools that would qualify for state intervention.

Officials haven’t decided when any school improvement efforts would begin or which schools they would target. However, the state board of education has hired a “chief turnaround officer” to lead the initiative.

“If the chief turnaround officer is able to come up with really great best practices and willing to put in the support to make it happen for a school, that’s great,” says Atlanta Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen. “But unless it’s a lot better than what we’ve been doing, it’s hard to want to take a directive to change, when we’ve just now put in our own interventions, and need some time to see them play out.”

The state board of education will discuss next steps for school improvement at meetings this Wednesday and Thursday.

A note of disclosure: The Atlanta Board of Education holds WABE’s broadcast license.