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Georgia to Participate in National Readiness Effort

Media Contact: GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 463-1487,     Read the National Press Release       September 16, 2008  -- Georgia is one of eight states that will participate in a national collaborative effort aimed at increasing the number of students that graduate high school ready for college and careers.     Georgia was chosen to participate in the "College & Career-Ready Policy Institute," an effort supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by a partnership of well-respected education policy groups including Achieve, the Data Quality Campaign, the Education Counsel, Jobs for the Future and the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices.     The states were chosen through a competitive selection process based on their strong leadership and the state's commitment to a college- and career-readiness agenda that includes having strong academic standards and graduation requirements for all students.     "Georgia has demonstrated its commitment to preparing all students for college and the work force by implementing a more rigorous curriculum and a new set of graduation requirements," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "The College & Career-Ready Policy Institute will provide our state with unprecedented support as we seek to prepare our students for the 21st century. We are very excited to be a part of this unique collaboration."     Georgia joins Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee as part of the Institute.     The Institute will help states tackle the difficult, but essential, task of ensuring that their assessment and accountability systems are anchored in college- and career-readiness and that state education policies cohesively support this critical goal. Specifically, the Institute will assist states in:     - Developing goals for improving high school graduation, college- and career-readiness and post-secondary attainment rates;     - Putting in place a comprehensive state assessment system that is aligned with college- and career-ready standards and that measures student progress over time;     - Establishing a coherent system of accountability that makes college- and career-readiness a central priority and provides incentives for proper actions, promotes accurate judgments, and drives effective supports and interventions;     - Designing a statewide system of supports and interventions to assist low-performing districts and schools and ensure continuous improvement for all schools and districts around the state; and     - Providing educational options and supports to boost the achievement of low-income students and other at-risk groups.     Georgia's participation in the Institute will be led by the Alliance of Education Agency Heads, as well as members of the legislature, the  Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education  and other business and community leaders.  The Alliance of Education Agency Heads  includes the leadership of the state's seven education agencies -- the Georgia Department of Education, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the Georgia Student Finance Commission and the Department of Early Care and Learning.