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Georgia Receives Waiver from No Child Left Behind

February 11, 2012
Mt Zion High School

February 9, 2012 -- State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge today announced that the U.S. Department of Education has granted Georgia’s waiver of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Superintendent Barge joined nine other state school chiefs at the White House for the announcement. Georgia is among a group of only 10 states to receive a waiver from NCLB.

“This is wonderful news for Georgia’s students, educators, and parents,” said Superintendent Barge. “No longer will we be bound by the narrow definitions of success found in No Child Left Behind. We will now be able to hold schools accountable and reward them for the work they do in all subjects and with all students.”

Governor Nathan Deal added, “This waiver will give Georgia the flexibility we need to pursue our goals of student achievement. We appreciate the cooperation of federal officials as we seek to prepare young Georgians for higher education and the jobs of tomorrow.”

As part of the waiver, the Georgia Department of Education will begin identifying Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Reward Schools (see attached chart for details). Achievement data from all core content areas and graduation rate data will be used to identify these schools. At the end of this current school year, these Priority Schools and Focus Schools will replace current Needs Improvement Schools. Reward Schools will replace the current Distinguished Schools designation and will be announced in September 2012.  

Georgia will also identify Alert Schools in three categories:  Subgroup Alert Schools, Subject Alert Schools, and Graduation Alert Schools.  These Alert Schools will be identified based on a more detailed evaluation of subgroup performance.  

College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI)

Georgia will also begin using the College and Career Ready Performance Index (attached) next school year for statewide accountability. The Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Reward Schools will be reported within the CCRPI.  The GaDOE will immediately begin working with educators across the state to define specific calculations for the CCRPI.  

Highlights from Georgia’s waiver:

1.        Continue development and refinement of the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) during 2012
2.        Identify Reward, Priority, and Focus Schools
3.        Identify Alert Schools, which are unique to Georgia and provide greater emphasis on subgroup performance
4.        Use all core content areas(state assessments) in the identification of Priority, Focus, and Alert Schools
5.        Set Performance Targets to replace the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) under AYP
6.        Exercise greater flexibility with federal funding
7.        Authorize districts to provide Flexible Learning Programs (FLPs) in place of Supplemental Education Services (SES) providers
8.        Follow state law (O.C.G.A. 20-2-2130) relative to school choice
9.        Include Reward, Priority, Focus, and Alert status on the CCRPI
10.      Implement CCRPI as Georgia’s state accountability system during 2012-2013

More Information:

-        Chart Detailing Definitions for Priority, Focus, Alert, and Reward Schools (attached)
-        Waiver Submission (attached)

Matt Cardoza
Director of Communications
Georgia Department of Education
2062 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, GA  30334
(404) 651-7358

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