The authorization comes after federal officials found one component of Georgia's plan to be in clear violation of the law -- the part that deals with marking down a school's test scores in situations where less than 95 percent of students are tested.
Georgia didn’t change the way that calculation works but did add “clarifying” language about that part of the plan, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Education said. It also was amended so that the calculation would only apply in situations where at least 15 students were tested. The plan originally set a threshold of 40.
All this is important because a lenient calculation for penalizing schools’ overall scores for test absenteeism could lead administrators to encourage their worst students to stay home on testing days.
DeVos also highlighted another “unique element” of Georgia’s plan: its method for recognizing schools that are making “significant” progress with “traditionally underserved subgroups.” The state proposed a complicated “closing the gaps” indicator.
Georgia schools Superintendent Richard Woods said in a statement that his education department heard from thousands of residents as it wrote the plan:
“We listened and heard that Georgians want a K-12 education system that supports the whole child; a system that produces students who are not just college- and career-ready, but ready for life.”
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