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State asks for waiver from some NCLB provisions
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U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge personally delivered Georgia’s request for a waiver to certain provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and an alternative, to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Georgia is one of the first states seeking a waiver from some of the requirements within NCLB. The state requests permission to replace NCLB with Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) for each public school, school district, and the state for the 2011-12 school year. This CCRPI determination will vary based upon 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.

The College and Career Ready Performance Index developed by Dr. Barge and his team at the Georgia Department of Education moves us in the right direction for 21st century accountability,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “Rather than focusing on one test given on one school day, the CCRPI takes a comprehensive look at the things that go into making successful elementary, middle and high schools. I commend Dr. Barge and Sen. Isakson for personally delivering this important request, and I’m appreciative of Secretary Duncan’s willingness to entertain accountability waivers from states. I wholeheartedly support Georgia’s request.”

“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 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.

For the 2011-12 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.