The Georgia Department of Education, which wrote the state plan, said the criticism “misinterprets” the plan and its intent. The plan doesn’t include all the information critics want because the department wanted “to avoid being overly prescriptive,” it said in a statement.
“It’s our position that Georgia’s proposed accountability system sets goals for schools that are ambitious but attainable,” it added, saying No Child had “overly ambitious” targets that didn’t result in real change.
Other groups have offered criticism and praise for Georgia's plan, with one ranking it among the best in the nation and another saying it should be revised before earning federal approval.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) defended Georgia’s plan. Chris Minnich, CCSSO executive director, said Tuesday that the plan’s authors found “bold and innovative ways to support schools in addressing a student’s full needs.”
Georgia was far from the only state that came in for criticism on Tuesday.
“We believe that many states are setting the expectations far too low,” said Lillian Lowery, a participant in the review who was state school superintendent in Maryland and education secretary of Delaware. She said too many states proposed school grading systems that will “mask” the performance of at-risk groups.
Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether and a former special assistant for domestic policy under President Bill Clinton, said most states treated their plans as “an exercise in minimal compliance.”
The AJC's Ty Tagami keeps you updated on the latest in Georgia education at myAJC.com, the subscriber website of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where you'll find in-depth reports, including these stories: