Georgia Still at "High Risk" of Losing Federal Funds

Sep 10, 2012

This year, 50 Georgia school districts are rolling out a new evaluation system for teachers. The program is part of the federal Race to the Top education grant. But, the U.S. Education Department says Georgia could still lose some of that money unless they submit more information. Georgia had an August 1 deadline to provide more specifics about their teacher evaluation to the U.S. Department of Education or risk losing $33 million in federal aid. Avis King is Georgia’s Deputy Superintendent for School Improvement. She says the state addressed some of the Education Department’s concerns, but they still need to provide more details.

“[We will be] really looking at decision making, also looking at analyzing data, having the opportunity to really look at our data,” she says.

The Education Department extended Georgia’s deadline to October 15th. King says she’s confident the state will meet it. The new evaluation is a big switch from the state’s current one, which rates teachers as either “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.” King says under the new assessment, teachers receive a score, which places them into one of four categories.

“It moves anywhere from ‘exemplary’ to ‘proficient’ to ‘needs development’ and to ‘ineffective,” King explains.

For the first time, student achievement is also incorporated into teachers’ scores.