GA State Superintendent's wife, Ms. Lisha Woods had the children lining up to be read to at a Reach Out and Read Georgia doctor's office.
American Legion of Georgia donates $10,000 to help distribute constitutions to every Georgia fourth-grader
The Georgia American Legion has donated $10,000 to help State School Superintendent Richard Woods and the Georgia Department of Education distribute copies of the Constitution to every fourth-grader in Georgia.
Superintendent Woods first spoke about the project, which upon completion will provide a pocket copy of the Constitution to each of Georgia’s 120,000+ fourth-graders, in the early days of his term. All funding will be donated and no taxpayer funds will be used to purchase or distribute the Constitutions.
“I am so grateful to the American Legion of Georgia for recognizing the importance of this project and helping us bring it to life,” Superintendent Woods said. “I have a concern for our nation that our young people need to know and understand what our veterans fought for – our freedom. They need to know about the greatness of America and the importance of sacrifice. The Constitution is the bedrock of our beliefs and values as a country – understand it, study its words, and you understand why those sacrifices are made. This is a document that begins ‘we the people,’ not ‘we the government.’ Knowing that next year, more than 120,000 fourth-graders will be able to carry those words with them, literally and figuratively, is a great thing. I’m thrilled to provide these Constitutions as a gift to our students and, as a former social studies educator, thrilled to provide them as a resource to their teachers.”
Donations are still underway to fund the full project. Anyone interested in contributing can make a tax-deductible donation to the Georgia Foundation for Public Education by sending a check and designating it to “Pocket Constitutions.”
Georgia Foundation for Public Education
2066 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
Clayton News Daily | State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods lauded the passing and signing of House Bill 91, which Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Monday.
The law retroactively eliminates the Georgia High School Graduation Test as a requirement for students who have taken the test since 1994 when the test was established. State Board Rule in 2011 eliminated the test as a requirement for graduation, but that elimination did not extend to students who had already taken the test.
“I applaud and thank Chairman Brooks Coleman, members of the General Assembly and Gov. Deal for passing and signing House Bill 91,” said Woods. “While in 2011 the State Board of Education eliminated the test as a requirement for graduation, it did not extend to students who were unsuccessful on the test prior to that time.”
The law covers all graduation tests, beginning with the Basic Skills Test that was administered to students who enrolled for the first time in ninth grade on or after July 1, 1981, said state officials in a press release Monday.
Woods said that HB 91 makes it possible for those students to get their high school diploma so they can move on to potentially brighter futures.
“Those who completed all of the requirements for graduation except for passing one test on one given day now have the opportunity to go on to some form of post-secondary education, where they can obtain skills needed to have a great quality of life and be contributors to our society,” he said.
Read more: http://www.news-daily.com/news/2015/mar/30/governor-signs-house-bill-91/
On March 16, 2014, the state Education Department released its ratings of the climate in Georgia’s schools. But these climate scores have nothing to do with the air conditioning. These are evaluations of how safe your child’s school is.
Each school received a rating on a scale of one to five stars. Fifteen percent of the state's schools received ratings of unsatisfactory (one star) or below satisfactory (two stars).
State School Superintendent Richard Woods spoke with WABE's Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer about the ratings on "A Closer Look."
> Click here to listen to the interview
Richard Woods became the State School Superintendent of Georgia last month after spending 22 years in public education in various roles: teacher, teacher mentor, assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, testing coordinator, pre-K director and alternative school director. He is also a former small business owner and was a purchasing agent for a multi-national laser company. This week, Woods wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and sent it, too, to members of Georgia’s delegation in the U.S. Congress and to the House and Senate education committees, which are currently working on legislation to rewrite No Child Left Behind. One of the key issues is whether annual standardized testing, as mandated in NCLB for grades 3-8 and once in high school, will continue in a new education law.
Woods, in his letter to Duncan, urges changes to federal mandates on standardized testing, saying in part:
Our broken model of assessment is too focused on labeling our schools and teachers, and not focused enough on supporting our students. Our current status quo model is forcing our teachers to teach to the test. We need an innovative approach that uses tests to guide instruction, just as scans and tests guide medical professionals. Oftentimes, we hear teachers called professionals because they have the knowledge and skill set to reach the needs of their individual students, yet in our accountability measures we have not supported or given value to diagnostic tools and tests that teachers need to fully utilize that knowledge or those skills. We must find a balance between accountability and responsibility.