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New rule promotes more responsible approach to accountability, emphasizes K-5 literacy and numeracy skills

State Board rule also decreases weight of test scores on TKES and LKES

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,
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July 25, 2016 -- In response to Senate Bill 364, the State Board of Education voted recently to approve the new rule that promotes a more responsible approach to accountability by reducing the weight of test scores (student growth measures) in the Teacher Keys Evaluation System (TKES) and Leader Keys Evaluation System (LKES), along with other changes.
The amended State Board rule for teacher and leader evaluations includes the following changes:
Responsible Approach to Accountability
•           For teachers, reduces the weight of student growth measures from 50% to 30%
•           For leaders, reduces the weight of student growth measures from 70% to 40%, and adds a school climate measure and a combination of achievement gap closure, Beating the Odds, and College and Career Ready
Performance Index measures
•           Eliminates eight high-stakes tests, and shift testing focus to a more formative approach
•           Adds a professional growth component
•           Allows for tiered classroom observations for qualifying teachers
"The rule recently passed, and the resulting refinements to the teacher and leader evaluation systems, will relieve much of the unnecessary pressure our teachers and school leaders are facing," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. "It will allow our teachers to be creative and teach, rather than focus on just a test. I firmly believe these changes will remove many of the barriers that have caused more of our teachers to leave the profession and fewer young people to choose teaching as a profession."
Ensuring a Strong K-5 Foundation
The new rule also provides districts flexibility for a renewed emphasis on foundational literacy and numeracy skills, and allows districts to focus their efforts on students meeting grade-level proficiency standards in reading and math. Districts will also have more formative tools in grades 1 and 2 to help them reach that goal.
"SB 364, and the resulting board rule, allows our districts to get serious about K-5 education by focusing their efforts on literacy and numeracy mastery in the early grades so they have a solid foundation of success for the later grades," Superintendent Woods said. “The long-term commitment of the Department of Education is to provide districts with the tools, resources, and support needed to get this right. My staff will be working closely with districts to use their flexibility to target their efforts and put their students on a strong footing for success."
“I want to thank Senator Lindsey Tippins again for sponsoring this impactful legislation, and also Governor Deal for signing it into law," added Superintendent Woods.