U.S. Education Officials Warn Georgia About Possible Loss of Funds

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Georgia won $400 million as part of the federal Race to the Top education grant. But in a recent letter to Governor Nathan Deal, the U.S. Education Department said the state is at “high risk” of losing $33 million of the grant. To keep the money, the state must address concerns about proposed changes to a new evaluation system for principals and teachers. Recently, the state proposed changing the way it would incorporate student surveys in the evaluations. Teresa MacCartney is Georgia’s Deputy Superintendent for Race to the Top Implementation. She says the state needs to provide more details about the changes.

“We need to provide additional information of how we plan to integrate the surveys within our observation tool to show we’re utilizing the data as evidence and documentation to support the standards,” she says.

MacCartney says she’s not worried about meeting the Education Department’s deadline, now less than a month away.

“We feel confident we’ll be able to provide the additional information to the U.S. Department of Ed by August 1.”

If they meet that deadline, the new evaluation system will be implemented in Georgia’s 26 Race to the Top districts when school begins.

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