With increased outcomes -- rising graduation rates, ACT, SAT, AP, and reading scores – coupled with expanded opportunities for students – arts, STEM, STEAM, career technical education, ag, and computer science -- Georgia is on the move and heading in the right direction.
We must not turn back to the time of the largest expansion of high stakes testing in our state’s history, standards that were written without the true involvement of Georgians, and our children’s futures being sold out to a federal grant that caused states to race to the bottom, instead of to the top.
This election is about how we continue to move education forward in a way that is child-focused and classroom-centered.
Together, let's win this for Georgia's children!
Richard Woods officially qualifies as a Republican candidate for State School Superintendent
Georgia ranks 15th in the nation for the percentage of students passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams, according to data released today by the College Board.
Georgia’s percentage of students scoring 3 or higher increased this year, with 23 percent of the class of 2017 scoring 3 or higher on at least one AP exam during high school – compared to 22.4 percent last year, and 22.8 percent nationally. Georgia is one of just 16 states to exceed the national average.
“We continue to hear loud and clear from Georgians that they have an expectation of opportunity for their students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “These results show us yet again that it pays off for students when they have opportunities like AP. I commend every student and educator whose hard work has made Georgia’s stellar AP program what it is.”
Participation also increased, rising from 40.3 percent in 2016 to 41.7 percent in 2017. This is the 12th-highest AP participation rate in the nation.
AdvancED, a group that accredits most of the schools in Georgia, has formed a partnership with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to reduce duplication of school improvement processes for Georgia schools, focus continuous improvement efforts statewide and facilitate equity for all Georgia learners. Through the partnership, AdvancED and GaDOE will provide Georgia learners, educators, and institutions with improvement tools, resource guidance, and support services that are aligned with a common continuous improvement framework.
“This partnership with AdvancED will help us serve districts more effectively and more efficiently, reducing duplication between schools’ accreditation processes and GaDOE’s school improvement work,” said Richard Woods, State School Superintendent. “This is a request we’ve heard from districts and we’re so grateful for the continued partnership of AdvancED. Together we will create, implement, and sustain a common framework for continuous improvement that is supported and enabled by common terminology, shared communications, training, and aligned tools, resources, and support systems.”
February 5-9th is National School Counseling Week.
Superintendent Woods reflected on the critical role school counselors played throughout his life -- as a student, teacher, and principal.
Woods Recognizes Bus drivers, TECHNICIANS; Spotlights Student artwork Promoting Bus Safety & Important Role of Bus Drivers
At the last two State Board meetings, Superintendent Woods recognized the efforts and critical work of our state's school bus drivers.
Superintendent Woods cited the important role that bus drivers play in ensuring Georgia students arrive safely to school each day ready to learn. He referenced the fact that for many of our students the school bus driver is the first and last person they see as part of their school day and so school bus drivers play a critical role in a child's education.
Superintendent Woods holds a CDL and drove the bus numerous times as a school leader and coach in Irwin County.
On testing's proper role and fair accountability
On Georgia's CTAE programs providing multiple pathways to succeed for students
On committing to literacy and numeracy skills in the early grades
On moving away from Washington-micromanaging
Georgia Trend recognizes Woods' commitment to reducing high-stakes testing, promoting literacy, and increasing fine arts opportunities for students
Since March 2017, 135 Georgia schools have made the improvements necessary to get off the federal underperforming list
The Georgia Department of Education today announced that 61 schools have exited the Priority and Focus Schools lists, due to recent across-the-board CCRPI increases and Georgia’s rising graduation rate.
As part of Georgia’s ESEA waiver, which granted flexibility from some provisions of No Child Left Behind, the GaDOE was required to identify Priority and Focus Schools. Priority Schools represent the lowest-performing 5% of Title I schools based on achievement data, plus schools with a graduation rate below 60% for two consecutive years. Focus Schools represent the lowest-performing 10% of Title I schools based on achievement gap data. That data examines the gap between a school’s lowest performing 25% of students and the state average, and the progress those students are making.
“We continue to see that underperforming schools can improve and move the needle for their students, even when they face difficult odds,” Superintendent Woods said. “And we’ve seen once again that intensive, intentional partnerships between schools, districts, communities and our Department can equip schools with the resources they need to improve student achievement. These schools worked directly with our DOE staff and with Georgia RESAs, and their leaders and teachers deserve immense credit for the progress they’ve made. We view school improvement as a primary responsibility of our entire agency – not just the school improvement division – and with that focus guiding us, I’m confident we’ll continue to see schools making gains.”
Read more: www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?PressView=default&pid=580
GaDOE partners with Georgia Economic Developers Association & districts for New Economic Development Partnership Certification
New district-level certification will recognize strong local partnerships between the K-12 system and business and industry
The Georgia Department of Education has named five local school systems as pilot participants in its new Economic Development Partnership (EDP) program. Pilot work will begin with Whitfield County, Marietta City, Newton County, Muscogee County, and Wayne County this school year, with plans to roll out to all interested school systems in the 2019-2020 school year.
The EDP program seeks to promote improved relationships between local school districts and business/industry. The program, which is loosely modeled on GaDOE's STEM and STEAM certification for schools, aims to meet the workforce development needs of Georgia's current and future employers and expand opportunities for students. The designation is endorsed by the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA).
Alignment of common priorities among education and industry leadership is a central tenet of the program. Pilot systems will work with Department staff to ensure smooth program delivery and broad applicability across the state.
The Economic Development Partnership will include required leadership trainings and a review of local Career Pathway offerings, as well as components that can be scaled or modified to fit individual communities.
As part of the CCRPI reports, the Georgia Department of Education also released the 2017 School Climate Star Ratings for local schools. This rating is provided as an informational tool for schools, parents, and communities. While it is reported alongside the CCRPI, it is not included in the calculation that produces school and district CCRPI scores.
A visualization of the 2017 School Climate Star Rating is available through Georgia Insights, an initiative of the GaDOE aimed at improving the clarity and accessibility of district- and school-level data through public-friendly and easy-to-use dashboards.
School climate refers to the quality and character of school life -- the "culture" of a school. A sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and student learning, which are essential elements for academic success, career-skill improvement, and overall quality of life. The School Climate Star Rating assesses the climate of a school on a 1-5 scale using the following indicators:
Each school in Georgia receives a 1-5 star rating, with five stars representing an excellent school climate, and one star representing a school climate most in need of improvement.
In 2017, there was an increase of 4.2 percentage points in the number of schools earning the top (5-star) rating. In detail: 19.2 percent of schools earned a 5-star rating (excellent), 41 percent earned a 4-star rating (above average), 26.2 percent earned a 3-star rating (average), 8.7 percent earned a 2-star rating (below satisfactory), and 3 percent earned a 1-star rating (unsatisfactory). Two percent of schools did not receive a rating because they are virtual schools, which are not traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
Georgia's School Superintendent
Richard Woods has over 24 years of pre-k through 12th grade experience in public education. > Read Full Bio