Georgia Superintendent Richard Woods ignited the issue just before this legislative session, reporting a “growing crisis” with more than four out of 10 teachers quitting within five years on the job. A state Department of Education survey chiefly blamed testing. More than 53,000 respondents cited the amount of testing and the use of test scores in evaluations as top reasons for the turnover. Woods told lawmakers at a hearing last week that he thinks the importance of tests in teacher evaluations should be reduced.
Superintendent Woods Supports Legislation Increasing Local Control and Expanding Opportunities for Students
State School Superintendent Richard Woods today released the following statements regarding introduced legislation that would increase local control and expand opportunities for students:
HB 801 - Increase opportunities for HOPE
HB 739 - Increase local control and transparency in the local adoption of textbooks
HB 402 - Expand opportunities for work-based learning
from the Macon Telegraph...
"Atlanta, we have a problem."
While education in our state is not a moon mission gone awry, our oxygen tanks — the teachers — that keep this state's ship alive have been exploding for some time.
A survey report released in December called "Georgia Teacher Dropout Crisis," prepared by the Georgia Department of Education, paints a dim picture of the future of education in the state: 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years. And of the 53,000 educators who took the survey, two out of three said they were unlikely or very unlikely to recommend teaching as a profession to students about to graduate from high school.
Why? Too many mandated tests, unfair evaluations and constantly changing standards. Teachers also feel devalued and stressed. Is it any wonder? According to state Superintendent Richard Woods during a budget hearing at the Capitol last week, Georgia gives standardized tests at a rate three times that required by the federal government.
He also told lawmakers about the attrition rate. Unbelievably, a legislator in the audience discounted the attrition rate as just a "natural post-recession workforce adjustment." In fact, during the recession, Georgia balanced its books on the backs of teachers and school systems. Many districts laid off personnel and resorted to furloughs. According to the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, 40 school districts are still furloughing staff, and the "QBE austerity cut for 2017 is approximately $167 million."
Legislators can hold onto the myth that they don't play a role in teacher dissatisfaction if they want to, but they could wake up one day to find the state's prosperity is making a post-recession adjustment to other more educated states.
Read more here: http://www.macon.com/opinion/editorials/article56319475.html#storylink=cpy
“I’m committed to ensuring appropriate, fully vetted standards that are developed based on public feedback, in time for teachers to receive ample training. I encourage all those who care about public education in Georgia to review the proposed standards and share their thoughts."
-- Richard Woods, Georgia's School Superintendent
The State Board of Education has posted, for a 60-day public comment period, the first Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) for science and social studies. If approved, the standards will be implemented in the 2017-18 school year, following a full year of teacher training.
View a simple overview of the science standards here and the social studies standards here. To give your feedback on the proposed standards, please go to the following surveys:
> Survey for Feedback of Revised Science Standards
> Survey for Feedback of Revised Social Studies Standards
The standards, if approved, will replace the current Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) in science and social studies with the Georgia Standards of Excellence. They were developed based on a formal review and evaluation process which included opportunities for teachers, parents and families, students, business and industry, and community members to participate through surveys and committees. Now, the public will have 60 days to review the proposed standards and provide feedback before the State Board of Education votes on whether to approve them.
Georgia's Teacher Dropout Crisis: A Look at Why Nearly Half of Georgia Public School Teachers are Leaving the Profession
Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
We have been given the opportunity to chart our state’s educational plan and ensure it is truly a Georgia plan...together we can craft a vision that best serves Georgia’s students and makes us a national education leader.
-- Richard Woods, Georgia's School Superintendent
Yesterday, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act -- now called the Every Student Succeeds Act – which will end No Child Behind (NCLB) once the President signs it into law.
While I would have preferred more time to review this legislation before it passed, I am pleased that with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Congress saw what we at the state and local levels have seen for years: we test way too much and the federal government has taken over education, which is a Constitutional obligation of states and local districts. I can assure Georgians of this: our process, as we develop a plan to submit to the feds, will be fully transparent and based on your feedback.
As I stated early on in my term, we must balance accountability with responsibility. That is why several months ago I called for a testing audit to determine ways we could eliminate unnecessary testing at the state and local levels. This is an issue explicitly recommended in the new law, which we will gladly continue.
Over the coming months, my team and I will look carefully at this new legislation and move forward with some of ouralready implemented actions to provide relief from over-testing and over-burdensome accountability. Now that the federal government has provided states with flexibility, we as a state must act in the interests of our students and teachers.
There are some specific areas of the legislation that I fully support, and others that are part of our own strategic plan: