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GA Partnership for Excellence in Education names Spring 2018 College Access Grant Winners

Six Chambers of Commerce will use funds to encourage post-secondary education

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Gaines, rgaines@gpee.org, 404-223-2464
-Follow the GA Partnership on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram
February 6, 2018 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education has selected six local chambers of commerce as winners of the Spring 2018 College Access Grant. These $3,000 mini-grants to local chambers of commerce are granted to leverage their visibility, voice, and influence in efforts to recruit more high school graduates – especially low-income – to enroll in college, and encourage more adults to return to college.

“We know from research that the majority of job postings today require at least an associate’s degree,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership. “We are excited to see how these six chambers of commerce use these grant funds to encourage high school students and adults to further their education. Successfully completing high school and some form of post-secondary education will benefit individuals and their families. These individual benefits then add to the health of the communities in which they live and ultimately accrue benefits across the state.”
Spring 2018 College Access Grant Winners

  • Adel-Cook County Chamber of Commerce will promote connection between post-secondary education and a qualified workforce to local business members, connect with school staff to provide targeted messaging to students about the importance of continuing their education, and facilitate a College Education Matters day including college tours.
  • Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce will plan a Career Fair exposing students to the industries and careers available in their own county.  Together with the Parent Involvement Coordinator of the local school system and the staff of the local college, they will plan events for low income students and their families on topics such as the college and financial aid application processes and scholarship opportunities.
  • Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce will organize and host a Career Path Day for city and county high school students, with local employer participants emphasizing the educational requirements of their positions.  The Chamber will also facilitate students’ tours to three local industries with apprenticeship programs offering certification and college tuition.
  • Metter-Candler County Chamber of Commerce is starting a pilot “College Access Boot Camp” program targeting first-generation college students and how to overcome their challenges to college enrollment and completion.
  • Newton County Chamber of Commerce will host four resource fairs for adults interested in returning to school, centered around manufacturing career opportunities, resume and application prep, workplace testing prep, and industry and manufacturing lab tours.
  • Walker County Chamber of Commerce will support a program built between the school system and Georgia Northwestern Technical College, opening up a viable and in-demand career path for students.  The grant will buy the technology necessary to make this pathway a reality.

Examples of how Fall 2017 grant winners used funds include:
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber hosted resource fairs and industry tours targeting out of school women aged 16-24 to connect them with educational resources and opportunities.
Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber organized outreach events for non-traditional students over 25 to reenroll in and complete their education.
Lee County Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber took all 9th graders on a college visit, and facilitated test prep for ACT and Accuplacer for 10th and 11th graders, focusing on low-income students.
Milledgeville Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce:  In partnership with the Career Academy, the Chamber targeted low-income students to tour local colleges, and familiarize them with the application process and financial aid opportunities.
Roberta-Crawford County Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber organized rallies on school campuses for 8th-12th graders to encourage post-secondary education, and followed up with college and business tours.
Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber hosted a pinning ceremony, college visit, guest speaker event, and mock interviews with business partners.
Ginger Lawrence, Principal of Lee County High School Ninth Grade Campus, added, “The Lee County High School 9th grade campus used one school day to take the entire class of 2022 to college! After the school made arrangements with area colleges, students picked their school of choice and enjoyed a full day of orientations and tours. For many students, this was their first experience on a college campus and it made a lasting impression on all of them.”
“I feel honored that we received a College Access Grant,” said Patti Temple, Executive Director of the Roberta-Crawford County Chamber of Commerce. “The grant allowed us to expose more students to post-secondary education, and these students are now looking at the possibility of attending post-secondary education with a different mindset.”
For more information about the College Access Grant, please contact Merrill Wilcox at mwilcox(at)gpee.org or 404-223-2463.
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Report shows urgent need for Southern states to improve K-12 schools for every child
MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, mcardoza(at)gpee.org, 404-223-2464 or Alan Richard, alanricharddc(at)gmail.com, 202-641-1300
-Follow the GA Partnership on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

January 30, 2018 – In a new report, seven nonpartisan organizations in the South – including the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education – urge their states to take swifter action to improve K-12 education for every child with an emphasis on support for disadvantaged students.

Accelerating the Pace: The Future of Education in the American South calls for states to move faster to raise the overall quality of education. The report shows that while the South has made major advances in education in recent decades, some “achievement gaps” between more affluent students and historically disadvantaged classmates widened between 2005 and 2015. The report and complete poll results are online at www.acceleratingthepace.org.

The report and the accompanying results of The Education Poll of the South are from the Columbia Group, an informal network of organizations that work to improve education in their respective states. The Columbia Group’s members are:

  • A+ Education Partnership in Alabama
  • Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
  • Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence in Kentucky
  • Education’s Next Horizon in Louisiana
  • Mississippi First
  • Public School Forum of North Carolina
  • SCORE in Tennessee

“Our state has made significant improvements in education over the last few decades, but the pace of our progress isn’t enough to provide every child with an excellent education,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership. “I encourage all thought leaders and policymakers to use this report and accompanying poll results to make needed changes so all students in Georgia are receiving the education they deserve, and the education they need to ensure a future workforce that keeps our state the best in which to do business.”

The accompanying results of The Education Poll of the South show that most Southern voters of all political views and backgrounds support better educational opportunities for every child, no matter students’ background or where they live. The poll surveyed 2,200 registered voters in 12 states, from Virginia to Louisiana, and shows strong consensus for the need to improve education and on key issues that states need to address. Among the key findings:

74 percent of voters in the South see differences across their states in how well students are educated. Only 13 percent said all schools do an adequate job across their state. Another 13 percent didn’t know.
85 percent of voters in the South support “improving public schools by addressing differences in the quality of education across all schools in the state.” Only 6 percent—about one in 17 voters—opposed this idea, and 7 percent did not know.
84 percent support their “state improving public schools by addressing differences in funding across all public schools.” Only 8 percent oppose the idea, and 7 percent did not know.

The poll findings are from among mainstream voters across the South that roughly match the political affiliation, gender, income levels, and racial/ethnic backgrounds of registered voters in each state. Nearly three out of four voters in the survey were parents, although 40 percent had children older than school age.

Many other partner nonprofit organizations provided data and expertise for the Accelerating the Pace report, spanning different political and ideological viewpoints. These include the Southern Regional Education Board, the PIE Network, and the Southern Education Foundation.

For more information, visit the website of any Columbia Group member organization or www.acceleratingthepace.org.

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GA Partnership Releases 2018 Top Ten Issues to Watch

Report focuses on key education issues in 2018

January 8, 2018 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education today released the 2018 Top Ten Issues to Watch. For the past 14 years, the Partnership has published a report that both identifies and analyzes the key education issues the state will be or should be addressing in the coming year.  The 2018 edition is now available.

Some of these important issues have been featured in the Top Ten Issues to Watch before (such as equity/fairness and early education), but there are new issues this year such as “Rural Georgia – It Matters, A Lot” and “EdQuest Georgia – Charting Educational Reform.”

Each section is divided into three categories: “Issue Overview” that defines the topic; “Significance for Georgia” that puts it into context; and “Action Steps for Georgia” that proposes what the state needs to do to keep moving forward in its public education plan.

The report is used across the state as a critical resource document. It is written so the public can understand the complexities of the education landscape. Each Georgia legislator is provided a copy as the session opens and several college and university teacher prep programs use it in their classes.

“The Top Ten takes a deep dive into specific issues facing Georgia today – and how they fit into a broader policy framework for education improvement,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership. “It is the goal of the Georgia Partnership that the commentary in this document serves as a tool for policymakers, educators, community and business leaders, and all education stakeholders to identify where opportunities exist to move Georgia forward.”

The report is available in hard copy and online.  The Georgia Partnership will provide a free copy upon request (mcardoza@gpee.org). Postage reimbursement will be required for greater quantities.  The Top Ten can be downloaded on our web site at www.gpee.org and can be viewed as a flipbook at http://online.anyflip.com/jvnu/ycff/mobile/index.html.

Founded in 1992 by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Economic Developers Association, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education consists of business, education, community and government leaders who share a vision of improved education.  An independent organization, the Partnership is working to be Georgia’s foremost change agent in education.  The non-partisan, non-profit Georgia Partnership takes lead roles in efforts to impact education policies and practices for the improvement of student achievement.  More information is available at www.gpee.org.

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Op-Ed: Georgia’s Education System – Much Better Than We Hear About

Have you ever heard that Georgia is first in education? Probably not. Have you ever heard that Georgia is last in education? Probably so.

When you hear Georgia is last in education, that is typically based on one measure – SAT results. Like many education measures, apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult to glean from SAT results. For example, the top-ranked state in the nation based on the most recent comparable (2016) SAT results was Illinois. Only 3% of their students took the SAT, compared to 67 percent of Georgia students.

However, if someone insists on using the SAT to rank states, Georgia is far better than “last in the nation.” While not exactly where we want to be, we ranked 36th in the nation on the 2016 comparison, with 67 percent of Georgia’s students taking the test.

The same story can be told with the ACT. This year’s ACT results revealed Georgia’s average composite score of 21.4 was higher, for the second consecutive year and the second time in history, than the national average of 21.

In fact, over the past decade, educational outcomes have been steadily improving as Georgia has raised expectations around standards and instructional systems to ensure that students are college- and career-ready when they graduate high school. Georgia has implemented some of the highest graduation requirements in the country, including four credits of both science and math.

Georgia is seeing the results of these changes. The high school graduation rate has increased more than 10 percentage points since 2012 and is above 80 percent for the first time since using the adjusted cohort calculation now required by federal law. Even better, 50 Georgia school districts recorded 2017 graduation rates at or above 90 percent. Since 2010, the number of graduates requiring remediation upon entering post-secondary education has dropped over six percentage points for English and nearly 10 percentage points in math. We are increasing the percentage of graduates and better preparing them for college and careers.

Despite these gains and achievements, considerable public discourse involving the K-12 public schools is around how they are “failing.” While much of this narrative began under the era of No Child Left Behind, it has most recently been fueled by debate over the Opportunity School District (OSD) and Chief Turnaround Officer legislation. The public attention has primarily been focused around schools on “the list,’ which schools received an “F” and how long have they been “failing.”

That narrative needs to change. This is not to suggest that addressing the needs of schools, especially schools that are chronically underperforming expectations, is not a real and pressing issue. There are in fact students who attend schools for their entire academic career that are unable to provide the teaching and resources needed for them to be successful. This is not acceptable. However, labeling these schools – and by extension the students, educators, families and communities that make-up the schools – as failures inaccurately identifies the problem and hinders the ability to find a solution.

Much of the root problems around chronically low-performing schools can be found in the impacts of poverty and a history of disinvestment in local communities. In an excellent article examining the costs of educating low-income students, a metro Atlanta elementary school was highlighted as having more than 50 students living in an abandoned apartment building with no electricity or water.  When the building was demolished, educators struggled to help their suddenly homeless students and families find new housing and MARTA passes.  They provided luggage and clean clothes, and other needs of homeless children.  Knowing this, I ask: Is this a school that is failing its students?

The existence of chronically struggling schools is but a symptom of a larger problem. The problem is that many schools are being overwhelmed by issues of poverty and community disinvestment at a time when expectations around student achievement are being raised exponentially. Yet still, on average, student achievement is rising.  It’s not where we ultimately want it, but educators are getting impressive results under difficult circumstances.

As I ponder Georgia’s public education system, I think about all the students and the educators who serve them. Educators, particularly those who work in impoverished communities, need support and encouragement.  They need resources and training to serve all the growing needs of their students. These needs include the gaining of knowledge, to be sure.  But their needs also run the gambit of social, emotional, and physical health supports. Sometimes that need is as basic as a winter coat and breakfast.

There is much to celebrate in Georgia’s schools. Georgia is no longer ranked in the cellar but has moved up to the middle of the pack. We need to be talking about our successes and how we can get better, rather than past failures. We need to identify problems, lift up solutions, and provide supports to help communities improve their schools.  These are things we can do to build a stronger Georgia and keep it the number one state in which to do business.

The next time you hear someone say Georgia is last in education, let them know they are living in the past and that our schools and students are having successes that are going to keep Georgia’s future bright.

Matt Cardoza is the communications director for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

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GA Partnership for Excellence in Education releases new policy framework for education

EdQuest Georgia highlights seven core policy areas common across high-performing states and countries

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, mcardoza@gpee.org, 404-223-2464

-Follow the GA Partnership on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

November 9, 2017 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education today released a new policy framework for education – EdQuest Georgia: Charting Educational Reform (EdQuestGa.org) at the November Critical Issues Forum. The EdQuest Georgia framework is designed to help stakeholders understand Georgia’s system of education, and to provide a concept of how the parts and pieces of the system fit together and reinforce each other.

Based in best practice research, EdQuest highlights seven core policy areas that are common across high-performing states and countries. The baseline report examines where Georgia is strong and should continue the great work being done, as well as opportunities that need to be addressed to move the state forward.

“There is still work to be done in order to make Georgia a top performing state where all children – despite race, economic background, or community – have the same access to a high-quality education,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership. “The research presented in the EdQuest report represents common factors that account for the success of other countries and states that have the best education outcomes. I encourage our elected officials and policymakers to review EdQuest and take action on the opportunities presented throughout.

In one form or another, all high-performing states and countries share core policy areas that support the following:

  1. Foundations for learning, which include supports from birth for families, schools, and communities as well as access to high quality early learning.
  2. Quality teaching must be ensured for all students by providing supports for teachers across recruitment, retention, and professional development and learning.
  3. Quality leadership within schools – such as teacher-leaders, counselors, and principals – and those outside the school building such as district and state leaders.
  4. Supportive learning environments that promote positive conditions for learning both within schools through fostering positive school climate and social and emotional learning for students, and outside of school in the home and throughout the community.
  5. Advanced instructional systems that support high standards, personalized learning, innovation, a strong accountability system, and aligned curriculum.
  6.   Clear pathways to post-secondary success that support the transition from high school into post-secondary education, and ensure post-secondary education access and success.
  7. Adequate and equitable funding for all students.

“I am so proud to have been part of the EdQuest development,” said Stephanie Blank, EdQuest Steering Committee member and longtime champion of children and education. “If the opportunities for sustained support and strategic changes found in this report are implemented in a meaningful way, I believe we will make great progress towards our EdQuest goal of making Georgia a national and global education leader.”

STEAM Asset Map

The STEAM Asset Map, also part of EdQuest Georgia, is a map designed to show where investments have been made in STEM and STEAM education across Georgia. STEM/ STEAM are acronyms for the subjects of Science Technology Engineering (Arts) and Math. This map contains the following layers:

Schools: Information on all Georgia public schools, including demographic information of the school and neighborhood, student achievement in STEM fields, and whether those schools have been STEM or STEAM certified by the Georgia Department of Education.

Out of School Opportunities: Opportunities for students to participate in STEM or STEAM activities outside of school, including where these activities are located and when they take place. These opportunities were reported by partner organizations and through self-reporting, and we present them with no judgment as to the quality of each. Please contact individual programs for more information.

Grants: Philanthropic investments in STEM and STEAM throughout the state.

Tract Conditions: Filters indicating the concentration throughout the state of the following:

Children below 200% of the Poverty Line

Families below the Poverty Line

Local Conditions Index

For more information, visit EdQuestGa.org.

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GA Partnership for Excellence in Education releases STEAM Map

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, mcardoza@gpee.org, 404-223-2464

-Follow the GA Partnership on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram 

October 17, 2017 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education today unveiled a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Asset Map – http://www.gasteammap.org/. This tool provides a visual depiction of where investments in STEM and STEAM education exist across Georgia to give those interested in supporting STEAM an idea of where investments are needed or where other investments or activity exists that they could support.

The map includes information on out-of-school time opportunities for students or parents looking for a way to engage with STEAM education and enhance students’ learning in these areas. Teachers may find it useful to filter data by different demographic characteristics of school populations or by different levels of student achievement. This would allow them to find comparable schools to their own which will facilitate networking among schools that are already STEM or STEAM certified and those seeking to be.

“We developed this tool to provide the business and philanthropic communities with a visualization of the current landscape of STEAM investment in Georgia,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership. “It is our hope that this map will drive further investment into STEM and STEAM education, as well as connect schools and students with opportunities to enhance their endeavors in these areas.”

Features of the STEAM Asset Map 

  • STEAM Certified Schools (currently 5)
  • STEM Certified Schools (currently 54)
  • Out of School Opportunities for students to engage with STEM or STEAM education (currently over 500)
  • Grants that have been made across the state in support of STEM/STEAM education (currently over 200)
  • Georgia public schools and student achievement data for each in STEM subjects (currently over 2,000)
  • Multiple layers, including the following:
    • Schools: Information on all Georgia public schools, including demographic information of the school and neighborhood, student achievement in STEM fields, and whether those schools have been STEM or STEAM certified by the Georgia Department of Education.
    • Out of School Opportunities: Opportunities for students to participate in STEM or STEAM activities outside of school, including where these activities are located and when they take place. These opportunities were reported by partner organizations and through self-reporting, and we present them with no judgment as to the quality of each. Please contact individual programs for more information.
    • Grants: Philanthropic investments in STEM and STEAM throughout the state.
    • Tract Conditions: Filters indicating the concentration throughout the state of the following:
      • Children below 200% of the Poverty Line
      • Families below the Poverty Line
      • Local Conditions Index

“We are always looking for ways to help our STEM and STEAM schools network with other schools across the state,” said Felicia Cullars, Georgia STEM/STEAM Program Specialist. “The development of this map will provide a way for schools seeking STEM or STEAM certification to connect and collaborate throughout their journey.”

NOTE: The STEAM Asset Map was developed in conjunction with Neighborhood Nexus, powered by Atlanta Regional Commission and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The map contains data collected at various times throughout 2017. It will continue to receive data updates annually, and will be updated with STEM and/or STEAM certified schools quarterly.

There is not a measure of quality of the Out of School Opportunities at this time. The programs represented have been self-reported so any interested students or parents should contact individual programs for details.

The STEAM Asset Map will also link to the website for the Georgia Partnership’s upcoming education blueprint – EdQuest Georgia. To learn more about EdQuest, attend our Critical Issues Forum on November 9.

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GA Partnership for Excellence in Education names Fall 2017 College Access Grant Winners
Six Chambers of Commerce will use funds to encourage post-secondary education

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, mcardoza(at)gpee.org, 404-223-2464
-Follow the GA Partnership on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

October 4, 2017 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education today selected six chambers of commerce as winners of the Fall 2017 College Access Grant. These $3,000 mini-grants to local chambers of commerce are granted to leverage their visibility, voice, and influence in efforts to recruit more high school graduates – especially low-income – to enroll in college, and encourage more adults to return to college.

“We know from research that 60% of job postings today require at least an associate’s degree,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership. “We are excited to see how these six chambers of commerce use these grant funds to encourage high school students and adults to further their education. Successfully completing high school and some form of post-secondary education will benefit individuals and their families. These individual benefits then add to the health of the communities in which they live and ultimately accrue benefits across the state.”

Fall 2017 College Access Grant Winners
• Carroll County Chamber of Commerce
• Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
• Lee County Chamber of Commerce
• Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce
• Roberta-Crawford County Chamber of Commerce
• Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce

Examples of how previous chamber of commerce grant winners used funds include:

• facilitated a College Education Matters event for high school students, adults, and veterans who would benefit from continuing their education.
• funded CNA certification exams for technical college students who could then pursue further education in nursing.
• brought local students pursuing post-secondary education back to town to speak with high school upperclassmen about continuing their education.
• organized a 9th grade pinning ceremony, a college visit for upperclassmen, a High School Career Day, and guest speakers events.

“The College Access Grant was the perfect source for assisting Carroll County in reaching the underserved populations who are needing an extra push to return to school,” shared Donna Armstrong-Lackey, senior vice president of the Carroll County Chamber. “Our previous award allowed us to introduce many local and area resources to help them return to school, and in turn, gain valuable skills to be productive additions to our labor force.”

Karen Rackley, president/CEO of the Sylvester-Worth Chamber of Commerce added, “The Sylvester-Worth County Chamber understands the importance of an educated community and the impact that education has on Economic Development. We are continuously working to find ways to support our school system. We feel the College Access Grant allows us a great opportunity to partner with our school system and gives us one more tool in our toolbox to help achieve success.”

The application for the Spring 2018 College Access Grant will be available soon.

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Assessment Inventory helps schools test “smarter”

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, mcardoza(at)gpee.org, 404-223-2464
-Follow the GA Partnership on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

August 24, 2017 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education today released information from a pilot program to help school districts test “smarter” rather than more often. The Assessment Inventory Project (AIP), a joint effort with the Georgia Department of Education, helped five school districts by providing them with tools and a facilitated process to determine which tests were most helpful to improve student achievement.

Currently, state law requires students in grades 3 through 8 to take an end-of-grade assessment in English language arts and mathematics, while students in grades 5 and 8 are also assessed in science and social studies. High school students take an end-of-course assessment for each of the eight courses designated by the State Board of Education, but school districts typically have additional tests they use for other local purposes.

“School districts desire to eliminate redundant testing and use their assessments in smarter ways,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, President of the Georgia Partnership. “This pilot program has helped these five districts facilitate a discussion about how best to use their assessments to ensure greater student success. We have been encouraged by the impact of this process and hope more districts will use these tools to evaluate their own assessment program.”

Matt Thompson, Director of Student & Data Services for Barrow County School System, echoed the positive results Barrow got out of the pilot program noting, “The Assessment Inventory Project helped us to identify weaknesses, redundancies, and areas of poor validity in many areas of our assessment program. We were able to take the recommendations from the AIP and start to build a more comprehensive and efficient assessment process that truly gets at how best to evaluate our students learning.”

The Georgia Partnership is now working with the Georgia Department of Education, and regional and district leaders, to support the availability of the resource tools statewide.

“As this was such an impactful study, GaDOE is working with the Georgia Partnership to develop local and regional supports to make this resource available to all districts,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I’m committed to continuing to set that example at the state level. We have worked to reduce the amount of state assessments students take, and will continue to work with partners to reduce it further. Now is the time to shift our focus back to teaching and learning – the true purpose of education – and work together to ensure a responsible system of assessment that informs instruction, fosters innovation and serves our students well.”

All school districts can access these inventory tools from the Georgia Partnership website: www.gpee.org

Key Findings from Barrow County School System

  • Percentage of time a typical student spent on testing ranged across K-12 from 0.62% to 2.43%, with an average of approximately 1.75% of total instructional time spent on formal testing.
  • BCSS spent about 3% of non-personnel budget, and 0.35% of total budget, on direct and indirect testing costs.
  • Click to view full presentation of Key Findings and Recommendations.

Resources for Schools and School Districts

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GA Partnership for Excellence in Education names 2017-2018 Education Policy Fellowship Program class

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, mcardoza(at)gpee.org, 404-223-2464

-Follow the GA Partnership on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

July 24, 2017 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education today named 20 leaders to the Education Policy Fellowship Program’s Class of 2017-2018. The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a national professional development program sponsored by the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) that provides potential leaders with the knowledge and networks to advance the core issues of education policy.

In Georgia, EPFP is an initiative of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and is co-sponsored by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University and the University of Georgia. The program connects potential educational leaders with one another to build the capacity for our state to raise the bar for student learning and achievement. The ultimate goal of EPEP is to improve the chances for children and youth to succeed.

“The Education Policy Fellowship Program provides leaders with the knowledge and networks to advance the core issues of education policy in Georgia,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, President of the Georgia Partnership. “It serves as a critical resource for individuals, organizations and the state to increase the knowledge about education policy and linkages between policy and practice. I congratulate all of these talented leaders and look forward to working alongside them.”

Program Funder: The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education is grateful for the funding support of Lockheed Martin and Wells Fargo.

James Aucoin
Director of Programs
GivingPoint

Dr. Chris Cannon
Program Manager
Georgia Council on Economic Education

Genny Castillo
Director – Caucus Services
Georgia House Democratic Caucus

Dr. Bonnie Cochran
Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
Paulding County School District

Sherri S. Davis
Senior Managing Director – Strategy, Talent and Operations
Teach for America

Victoria Norris
Education Program Manager
CF Foundation

Jessica P. Pennington
Executive Director
Truancy Intervention Project Georgia, Inc.

Gayla R. Robbins
School Partnerships
honorCode

Stephanie A. Sanders
English Language Arts Program Manager
Georgia Department of Education

Angria Sceusi
Director of Operations and Investments
redefinEDatlanta

Geoffrey Streat
Project Director
United Way of Greater Atlanta

Otha E. Thornton, Jr.
Past National PTA President
PTA

Vett Vandiver
Communications Manager
GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students

Sweta Vivek
Director of Data, Analytics & Insights
Achieve Atlanta

Dr. Kelly M. Walton
Chief Operating Officer
Future Foundation, Inc.

Jacquetta Watkins
Executive Director
The Study Hall, Inc.

Daniel Weber
Executive Director
Charter System Foundation, Inc.

Greg Wilson
Public Service Assistant
Carl Vinson Institute of Government
The University of Georgia

Kerri Wilson
Division Director – Educational Development
Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget

Accelerating the Pace calls for state leaders and educators to focus on four main priority areas for improvement:

  • Make the South the best place to teach in the nation. Teachers and principals who have the talent, preparation and continued support they need to help students succeed.
  • Provide new types of academic—and nonacademic—support for today’s students. Students need an array of support systems to help them deal with physical and emotional health issues that can impact their learning.
  • Clear all students’ path from high school to their next steps in education and work. Build a much stronger bridge from high school into college, career training or a good job.
  • Ensure resources are adequate and targeted. Invest in education to meet the needs of every child, and consider additional support for students who need the most help to catch up.