March 28, 2015
Excel National Applauds Governor Deal and the Georgia General Assembly for their Leadership in Improving Georgia Schools
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Yesterday, the Georgia Senate gave final passage to SB 133 by Senator Butch Miller, which will create an A-F school grading system for Georgia public schools and a process for the state to turn around struggling schools through an Opportunity School District (OSD).
Excellence in Education National (@Excel_National) Mary Laura Bragg, National Legislative Director said, “SB 133 provides a powerful tool to help give students trapped in failing schools the focus and attention they need to improve and thrive. Students cannot afford to remain in a system in which they are not acquiring the skills they need to be successful in life.
“A-F school grades demonstrate how schools are performing and hold all schools to the same high state standards. When parents are informed about the effectiveness of schools their children attend, student learning improves. A system that balances student performance with learning gains establishes equity – and a simple grading scale that reflects attainable expectations creates transparency.
“Georgia has implemented a series of meaningful reforms over the past few years. Additional reform can continue transforming the state’s education system to allow students’ to attain the skills they need to truly succeed. I commend Governor Deal for putting the needs of Georgia students first and making this his number one priority this legislative session. We look forward to seeing the Governor sign this bill into law.”
Modeled after similar initiatives in Louisiana and Tennessee, SB 133 and companion resolution SR 287, which passed yesterday, call for a constitutional amendment to establish an OSD, authorizing the state to temporarily intervene to assist chronically failing public schools and ensure that students are given a real opportunity to thrive.
In addition to establishing an OSD, SB 133 creates an A-F grading system for schools based on student achievement, achievement gap closure, and student growth, as determined by the State Board of Education. Schools earning an F for at least three consecutive years will qualify for the OSD. The OSD will take in a maximum of 20 schools per year, with no more than 100 at any given time, and will have jurisdiction over these schools for a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10 years. After this period, the schools will return to local control.
For more information about the proposed legislation visit http://www.senate.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx.