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Georgia Formally Submits No Child Left Behind Waiver Application

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,
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November 15, 2011 -- The Georgia Department of Education formally submitted an application yesterday for a waiver of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In September, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge personally delivered Georgia’s request for a waiver to certain provisions of NCLB, and an alternative accountability plan, to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The U.S. Department of Education required that a formal application be submitted electronically, which was due yesterday for those states seeking early waivers.

Georgia is one of the first states seeking a waiver from some of the requirements within NCLB. The state is requesting permission to implement a new College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) for each public school, school district, and the state for the 2011 – 2012 school year. This CCRPI determination will vary based on grade levels. However, it will measure the extent to which a school, school district, and the state are successfully making progress on a number of accountability indicators, such as content mastery, student attendance, and the next level of preparation.

“Through Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index, we will be able to use multiple indicators to determine a school’s overall impact on our students,” said Superintendent Barge. “This approach will do more to ensure that the K-12 experience provides students with the academic preparation to compete globally, as well as the career development skills aligned with the evolving requirements of our workforce.”

The proposed CCRPI for high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools represents more than 18 months of work dedicated to continuing a rigorous statewide accountability plan that is more indicative of a focus on school improvement and students’ preparedness for the future than the current Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) calculations. The Georgia Department of Education has worked with a number of education stakeholders throughout the state, including: district superintendents; K-12 principals, counselors, and teachers; higher education leaders; business/industry partners. Also, the formation of CCRPI has been guided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Blueprint for Reform, the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Roadmap for Next-Generation Accountability Systems, and technical advice from a number of other education partners.

The implementation of the CCRPI will yield an in-depth analysis of students’ college and career readiness, which is not currently provided by data collected for AYP. Separate scores will be provided in three areas to capture the essential work of individual schools: Achievement Score (based upon current year data); Progress Score (based upon current and prior year data); and Achievement Gap Closure Score (based upon gap closure at the state or school level). The school-wide scores in these three areas will be weighted to produce the school’s overall CCRPI score.

“We have a unique opportunity to implement a state-specific performance index that communicates a clear pathway towards school improvement and transparent accountability. It also charts the course for ensuring that more of Georgia's students are truly college and career ready,” said Superintendent Barge. “This index will give schools a score that better reflects their efforts to educate students and will be much easier to communicate to the general public."

For the 2011 – 2012 school year, Georgia requests “stay put” permission relative to the current 2011 AYP determinations, Needs Improvement (NI) interventions as outlined in the Georgia Single Statewide Accountability System and in Georgia’s Consolidated State Application Accountability workbook, and consequence structure. The CCRPI calculations will be communicated to Georgia schools and school districts to establish baseline data for 2011-2012 within the context of a “hold harmless” consequence structure.

More Information 
Georgia's NCLB Waiver Application (Large File)
Sample Scoring Sheet
Webcast of Superintendent Barge and other state education officials discussing NCLB waivers ​