Georgia education policies undermine poor kids’ performance, group says

Georgia’s education policies scored an uninspiring grade from a foundation committed to ending the performance gap between students from low- and high-income households.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, a scholarship-granting organization, gave Georgia’s policies a “C+” and said able students who come from poor households are harmed by rules or the lack of them. The group cited a prohibition on early entrance to kindergarten, the absence of policies for skipping grades, no mandate to train teachers for “advanced” learners and inadequate reporting on advanced education.

The group also gave the state a C- for student outcomes, noting that 49 percent of Georgia children live in low-income households. It said 3 percent of low-income fourth-graders were scored as advanced readers, compared with 17 percent of wealthier students and that there is a similar gap in math.

“Low-income students are less likely than their higher-income peers to reach advanced levels of academic performance, despite having equal abilities and starting in the same place,” the group said.

Georgia performed relatively well, though. The foundation gave a handful of states a B- and gave out no As. Most states earned a D or below.

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