Few school leaders get “exemplary” rating

A mere handful of school principals and other educational leaders get outstanding marks under Georgia’s new evaluation system.

Just over half scored proficient but only 1.9 percent scored the coveted “exemplary” rating, according to Leader Keys Effectiveness System data for 2015 discussed at the Georgia Board of Education meeting Thursday.

The results didn’t sit well with board member Mary Sue Murray.

“How in the world do you get to be a leader if you’re not exemplary?” asked Murray, who represents southern and western parts of metro Atlanta.

Susan Andrews, director for education reform for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, said she expected the scores to rise as more school districts participate and the system is refined. The results were for 26 districts that accepted federal Race to the Top funding, a program Andrews helped implement when she was at the Georgia Department of Education.

The scores were derived from growth on test scores from 2013 to 2014 and from observations last school year.

The results placed 44.6 percent of leaders in the “needs development” category and described 0.6 percent as “ineffective.” Most, 52.8 percent, fell into the “proficient” category.

Teachers, in some ways, did better under the rankings, with 18.2 percent rating exemplary and only 39.1 percent needing development. However, only 42.2 percent rated proficient. About the same proportion of them as leaders were rated ineffective, with 0.5 percent of teachers filling out that bottom category.

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