State School Superintendent Richard Woods creates Assessment Innovation & Flexibility Task Force, establishes Assessment Innovation Fund, communicates intent to apply for Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority
Read Superintendent Woods’ letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
In accordance with Georgia’s submitted state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and in line with recommendations from Georgia’s Assessment Working Committee, State School Superintendent Richard Woods is establishing an Assessment Innovation and Flexibility Task Force and an Assessment Innovation Fund.
And today, Superintendent Woods sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressing Georgia’s intent to apply for the U.S. Department of Education’s Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority, which allows state education agencies to pilot innovative assessments for accountability and reporting purposes, with the intent of scaling these innovative assessments statewide.
“The model of standardized testing that arose during the No Child Left Behind years – end-of-year summative assessments that provide a one-day snapshot too late for teachers to provide remediation – is not working for our kids,” Superintendent Woods said. “Georgia has a real opportunity, working with innovative leaders in our local school districts who are at the forefront of these efforts, to change the way testing works in our public schools. We have an opportunity to build a model of assessment that is focused where it should be – on student learning. ESSA provides new opportunities for flexibility from the restrictive federal guidelines that govern testing in K-12 schools, and Georgia will aggressively pursue that flexibility for the benefit of our students.”
The Assessment Innovation and Flexibility Task Force will:
Members of the task force are representatives local school districts and business/industry, policymakers, educators, and parents. The Superintendent’s student, parent, teacher, and superintendent advisory councils will also offer feedback and insight throughout the process.
The Assessment Innovation Fund will provide competitive grants to local school districts to assist in the creation of innovative assessment resources, tools, and systems. The fund will be established using existing Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) funds, and during Georgia’s upcoming legislative session Superintendent Woods will urge the legislature to appropriate additional resources for the fund.
“Since participation in the federal Innovation Demonstration Authority yields only additional flexibility and not additional federal funding, I believe establishing this fund at the state level is essential to provide the necessary resources and support for our districts to ensure the success of this work,” Superintendent Woods said.
Georgia's School Superintendent
Richard Woods has over 25 years of pre-k through 12th grade experience in public education. > Read Full Bio