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​Statement from Superintendent Woods on the renewal of Georgia's ESEA Flexibility Waiver

​MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 541-7358,


June 23, 2015 – Statement from Superintendent Woods on the renewal of Georgia's ESEA Flexibility Waiver:

I am pleased that Georgia was granted continued flexibility from the overly prescriptive and one-size-fits-all AYP system,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “However, I am still hopeful that Congress will reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so Georgia and other states have more flexibility and autonomy over accountability measures for schools. States know what works to improve education better than the federal government."

Superintendent Woods expressed his intentions to continue evaluating the waiver.

“This extension provided the needed time to review the details of the waiver request as I work to ensure the alignment of all of Georgia's major education initiatives. As I continue to review the alignment of our work, I plan to reevaluate our ESEA flexibility waiver after a year.”

Highlights of the waiver include:

• Identification and exit criteria for Priority and Focus Schools now fully align to the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), making the system more transparent to schools, parents and the public.

• Flexibility under this waiver allows us to be held accountable for the work being done by our schools to educate students, but from a more strategic vantage than the overly prescriptive/one size fits all AYP system.

• Flexibility under this waiver protects and expands Georgia’s right to make changes to and develop its own standards.

Superintendent Woods also expressed his confidence that the U.S. Department of Education will approve an amendment concerning newly arrived English Language learners who have received limited – if any – instruction in their home countries.

Research has proven that it takes several years to gain the English skills necessary to begin to engage with academic content effectively. Our amendment request takes a more realistic approach to assess English Language learners’ abilities than the current requirement of showing proficiency the first time they take the test (which takes place, for many newly arrived EL students, the second year they are in school in the United States).” 

More information:

Link to waiver submission