Georgia Seeks Input on Federal Education Accountability Plan

Georgia has developed a new school accountability system under a new federal education law.
Georgia has developed a new school accountability system under a new federal education law.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press
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A new federal education law known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” requires states to come up their own accountability systems. A key part of Georgia’s plan changes how the state evaluates schools.

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Georgia’s report card system is called the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). Schools earn points based on indicators like test scores, progress, and closing achievement gaps. Under the new proposal, schools would receive a greater “weight” for areas like progress and readiness.

Dana Rickman, director of policy and research with the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, said that’s a positive step.

“I think that we are seeing a shift of a little more emphasis on progress and growth versus just, ‘How did everybody do at the end of the year?,’ ” Rickman said. “ ‘Did you meet a certain benchmark or not?’ ”

The modified version of the CCRPI, outlined in Georgia’s plan, reports data on various sub-groups of students. Those groups can include low-income students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. However, sub-group scores are only included in one of five CCRPI components. The GPEE would like to see sub-group performance scored in all parts of the CCRPI. 

“If you have a relatively high-performing school, and you have a sub-group that’s not doing well at all, that would get masked over,” Rickman said.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Education say schools are held accountable for sub-group performance in the ESSA plan. If a school fails to make progress with a subgroup for three consecutive years, it would automatically qualify for extra support from the state. 

State officials have held meetings around the state to get input on the plan. They focused on five domains: Education of the Whole Child, Accountability, Assessment, Educator and Leader Development, and Federal Programs to Support School Improvement.

The Georgia Department of Education is accepting public comments until July 14 and will submit the proposal to the U.S. Education Department in September for approval. 

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