state superintendent instead.
The legislation, now called the First Priority Act, has gone through several iterations. Even so, one piece of the bill hasn't changed. It creates a Chief Turnaround Officer, who would report to the state board of education. Various groups — from teachers’ organizations to conservative think tanks — have asked that the position to report to the state superintendent instead.
Georgia Association of Educators President Sid Chapman said he's still hoping lawmakers change their minds. "The state school superintendent is elected by the people,” Chapman said. “And he has no one else in that whole department who doesn't report to him."
From the Alpharetta Roswell Herald:
Under the current bill, a Chief Turnaround Officer (CTO) would head the program and report directly to the appointed State Board of Education.
But officials with the Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) say the CTO should report to the agency, headed by the elected state superintendent of schools.
During testimony before the Senate Youth and Education Committee, Superintendent Richard Woods said the GDOE is charged with carrying out the educational directives of the state and should lead the process to improve schools.
He also urged that criteria for what is considered a failing school should align with the federal definition. In the bill, a failing school would include one that has received “an unacceptable rating and any other factors deemed appropriate” by the CTO).
Officials with the Georgia Schools Board Association as well as the state’s largest education association, PAGE, also cited concerns over the reporting structure for the CTO.