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Georgia Ranks 7th in the Nation in New Education Report

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, mcardoza@gadoe.org  
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January 12, 2012 – Georgia ranks 7th in the nation for overall education quality, according to an Education Week report released today. The annual “Quality Counts" report is an investigation of key education outcomes that provides ranks and grades for each state based on their commitment to improve educational policies and practices. This year’s report gave Georgia a grade of B-. Last year, Georgia ranked 8th among all states.

“We are very pleased with the overall marks that Education Week gave Georgia for its commitment to education,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “While there is still plenty of work to do to improve education in Georgia, it’s good to see others recognizing some of the improvements that are happening in our state through the extraordinary work of our students, teachers, and leaders.”

Highlights from the Education Week Report

Areas of Continual Strengths

Ranking 6th and earning a letter grade of B+, Georgia remains a national example of best practices in the area of Transition and Alignment (which addresses the articulations between early childhood education, K-12 education, and postsecondary institutions). Additionally, Georgia remained in the top 10 of all states for the second straight year in the development of a rigorous and appropriate accountability system for teachers, along with providing teachers with incentives for certification and performance and enhancing building-level capacity and support. Finally, Georgia received an A- for our Standards, Assessment, and Accountability policies and programs. Georgia is only one of ten states to have alignment between standards and assessment in the area of Social Studies and is a national leader in portfolio assessments for students.

Areas of Growth

Using the metrics within the "Quality Counts" survey, Georgia saw tremendous growth in a number of student achievement indicators during the 2010-2011 year. In particular, Georgia experienced the 4th largest reduction in the 8th Grade Poverty Gap Closure in mathematics. Additionally, Georgia had the 6th largest scale score gains on the NAEP assessment for 4th grade Reading. Finally, Georgia ranked 4th in the Change in AP Scores category which examines the change in high scores per 100 students between 2000 and 2010. Georgia also ranked 9th in the scores of 3 or higher for each 100 students on the AP tests, cementing Georgia’s reputation as a national leader in AP testing and AP achievement.

Interesting Findings

Despite the high ranking, Georgia ranks 24th in the overall School Finance Analysis and 38th in the adjustment per-pupil expenditures. This illustrates that while Georgia may not rank highly in the amount it spends per child, our education leaders and teachers are doing an extremely effective job at content delivery and ensuring students have the tools to succeed.

“This report demonstrates that improving education for Georgia’s students is more than evaluating a single test score,” said Superintendent Barge. “We will continue to focus on raising the quality of education so our students are ultimately prepared for college and careers." 

Quality Counts Report for Georgia

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