New school chief Woods wants Constitution for every fifth-grader

State Superintendent-elect Richard Woods, who takes office Monday, said he wants to issue Georgia’s 123,000 fifth-graders pocket copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Woods told a group of reporters at a media symposium Friday he plans to issue the documents because “students need to know about Founding Fathers.” No word yet how much the copies of the mini documents will cost.

It was one of many ideas Woods covered during his speech to the media. He said he would also call on the General Assembly to diminish the emphasis on testing.

Right now student test performance counts for 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation in Georgia. Woods also wants the state Board of Education to delay for one more year promotion and failure decisions related to standardized testing.

Last year, the board voted to give students a reprieve during the 2014-15 school year — the first year new standardized tests will be given. In addition, end-of-course tests tied to the new assessment won’t account for 20 percent of a high school student’s final grade, as those tests did in the past.

Woods believes the state needs longer to make the adjustment to the new system.

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