If feds grant waiver, farewell to AYP for Georgia schools this year

If the feds approve Georgia’s request for a waiver from No Child Left Behind, school chief John Barge said, “AYP will be done for Georgia. We will be issuing each school district an index score based on 100 percent.”

Barge expects to know in two weeks whether the federal Department of Education will give Georgia, one of 11 states seeking a wavier, a reprieve from No Child’s stringent accountability requirements. Georgia is proposing to use another form of accountability that it contends is richer and more comprehensive reflection of school effectiveness, a College and Career Ready Performance Index.

“We feel it is a much more powerful tool for our schools,” said Barge, speaking to the media Friday afternoon. “It will actually drive their school improvement process.”

DOE says its index will impose scores 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 index score.

Barge said AYP was not helpful.

“As long as we could get X number students passed on the test, we are OK. Everybody is happy. Well, I think we all know we can get students to pass the test but they are anything but ready for college and career.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

54 comments Add your comment

Title 1 Teacher

January 20th, 2012
2:32 pm



January 20th, 2012
2:33 pm


Beverly Fraud

January 20th, 2012
2:34 pm

Here’s a novel concept; why not empower the teachers to hold the students WITHIN the school “accountable” and see what THAT does for performance?

Or would that require the “conservatives” in this state-the so called “law and order” and “personal responsibility” crowd-to act in a way consistent with their ALLEGED values?


January 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

Would this mean we could do away with the CRCT?

Dunwoody Mom

January 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

Thank goodness – keeping fingers crossed – I never EVER want to hear the term AYP again.


January 20th, 2012
2:51 pm

i dont want teachers to hold students accountable anymore. they should have never been put in a position to be responsible for kids they couldnt discipline or speak to above a whisper. but with parenting the way it is know it should be no surprise that teachers have become parents instead of educators. poor parenting kills.


January 20th, 2012
2:57 pm

What is the “data” to be used in the three areas? It it is solely test scores, it won’t help.


January 20th, 2012
3:06 pm

Before everyone assumes we won’t be testing anymore, you might want to read the fine (or bold) print in the waiver…..


Dunwoody Mom

January 20th, 2012
3:08 pm

@3schoolkids…here is the link to the GABOE’s Waiver Application. It is a large file and contains a lot of information. At this point, we don’t know what, if any, changes the Federal DOE has asked GA to make.


HS Public Teacher

January 20th, 2012
3:15 pm

Will this really change anything? The schools that “made” AYP will then get a high index score. The schools that didn’t make AYP will get a lower index score.

I don’t understand the difference….

To me this is politicans making work for themselves to justify their positions. The State employees must have work to do to change over the system from AYP (NCLB) to index score (RTTT).

So what? Spending more education dollars anywhere EXCEPT inside of the classroom.

Farewell to AYP? from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
3:26 pm

Has anyhone read the links provided by Dunwoody mom? It sounds very similar to what is NCLB now except that test scores are not the only way to evaluate teachers, which sounds fair and reasonable. What is concerning is the money involved. There are bonuses to be made and prizes to be won and no mention of how to prevent the same old cheating and lying and stealing. There is no mention of a requirement for a plan to ensure the integrity of testing. That is frightening to me. We simply cannot afford to continue to pay crooks and to pay teachers who are on administrative leave while they are under investigation. We need safeguards. We need to be sure we aren’t going to be subjected to more “improvements” that are nothing more than teachers with erasers.

Dr. John Trotter

January 20th, 2012
3:28 pm

Good riddance.


January 20th, 2012
3:36 pm


Is this what American education is today? No wonder we are far behind the rest of the world.

Our educational system has been infested with meddlesome politicians, make-work bureaucrats, overworked and/or cheating teachers, hyper-medicated students, helicoptor parents and bloggers trying to get their requisite 1000 words in daily.


Teachers will like this...from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
3:52 pm

Teachers will likely enjoy this part of the waiver. Many teachers on this blog suggested that teachers who work in poor schools should be incentified to do so so that all the good teachers don’t end up at the “easiest” schools to teach.

Here is the verbiage, which sounds like teachers will likely get more money to teach in schools that are known to be more difficult due to poverty or other circumstances:

“Equitable distribution
• Relocation incentives given to teachers
based on a TEM threshold to encourage
movement to high-need areas
• Incentives to teachers who reduce the
achievement gap in science and math
Lead(s): Avis King and Martha Ann Todd”

TEM is teacher effectiveness model.

NCLB with a different name...from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
3:56 pm

After reading half the document, it appears the waiver is strikingly similar to what is already in place in NCLB.

This page highights what is most concerning to everyone. It outlines that yes, there will be testing, yes, the results of the tests will be used to evaluate teachers and “leaders” and schools and staff will get money based on those results. Sounds a whole lot like NCLB and yet there is no mention of how to prevent the debacle that is the CRCT test cheating scandal. That amazes me. I guess it shouldn’t but it does.

In a nutshell, here it is straight out of the document:
The key projects under this initiative are:
# Project Name Description Application Reference
13 Value-Added /
Growth Model
• The State will develop the model used
to analyze student assessment results in
such a way as to measure the value that
a school or teacher contributes to a
student’s learning during a particular
time period
• Used as an input into Teacher
Effectiveness Measure (TEM), Leader
Effectiveness Measure (LEM) and other
effectiveness measures
Lead(s): Melissa Fincher
14 Development, testing
and validation of
other quantitative
• Parent, student, peer (teacher) and
climate surveys used as input into TEM,
LEM and other effectiveness measures
(see Section D2 in application)
• This project also includes personnel
support at PSC to assist with
implementation of changes
Lead: Avis King and Martha Ann Todd
15 Evaluation
instrument and
• The finalization of a research-based
evaluation tool to provide both
formative and summative feedback to
teachers and leaders
Lead(s): Avis King and Martha Ann Todd
(D)(2)(i) and
16 Evaluation training
and evaluation
process feedback
• Training for individuals who will
conduct evaluations
• Feedback on the overall evaluation
process and tools
Lead(s): Avis King and Martha Ann Todd
(D)(2)(i) and
17 Performance-based
pay for teachers
• Provide additional funding to
implement of a performance-based
compensation system based on a
teacher’s effectiveness in Cherokee
County, Henry County and Pulaski
Lead(s): Avis King and Martha Ann Todd
18 Performance-based
pay for leaders
• Implementation a performance-based
compensation system based on a
leader’s effectiveness
Lead(s): Avis King and Martha Ann Todd
19 Equitable distribution
• Relocation incentives given to teachers
based on a TEM threshold to encourage
movement to high-need areas
• Incentives to teachers who reduce the
achievement gap in science and math
Lead(s): Avis King and Martha Ann Todd
20 Increasing supply of
effective science and
math teachers
• Partner with UTeach to increasing the
number of science and math majors
who go into teaching
Lead: Lauren Wright
21 Focused professional
development for
teachers in math and
• Partner with the Center for Education
Integrating Science, Mathematics, and
Computing (CEISMC) to further
develop existing teachers in math and
Lead: Juan-Carlos Aguilar
STEM Competitive
22 Sharing of best
• Expand Summer Leadership Academies
to bring leadership teams from low
achieving schools together for
professional development
Lead(s): Avis King and Barbara Lunsford

waiver has termite ad and kim kardashian...from Good Mom

January 20th, 2012
4:22 pm

Only in the South, how embarrassing…I’ve reviewed the waiver and was definitely surprised what I saw: a termite ad and a headline about why Kim Kardashian left her husband.

Looks like someone, anyone, would have known how to use the free “Paint” program that comes free with Microsoft Windows to copy and paste a news article and know how to cut out the entertainment headlines in the AJC and the termite ad. It almost gave me a laugh but because I actually live in this stae and have children who go to public schools here, it isn’t so funny.


@Interested Participant

January 20th, 2012
4:51 pm

Will this affect promotoion/retention based on crct for 3rd 5th and 8th graders, or is that out the window….?


January 20th, 2012
4:58 pm

The main key in granting waivers will be whether the feds think Georgia is transitioning to a teacher evaluation system that uses test scores to rate the teachers.


January 20th, 2012
5:18 pm

I hate what NCLB has done to schools. However with the alternatives being discussed, like those in TN, I cannot see the situation improving. Rules do not improve education, attitude does. What the USA needs more than anything is a publicity campaign that convince students that being smart is actually a good thing. We have too many citizens who are content and proud to be ignorant.

Mark my words

January 20th, 2012
6:09 pm

What is coming will be worse.


January 20th, 2012
6:42 pm

@Exteacher: I agree with you. But we also need to be asking the question at the other end of the scale: Who, and to what end, is behind the arbitrary–and ever increasing–passing test scores. The bar is raised every year. Does everyone ever wonder why we’re so far behind? Maybe we’re asking too much of students, schools, parents, etc. Obsessiveness with rankings and competition seems to be at the root of all this, but for what purpose?

Mark my words

January 20th, 2012
7:22 pm

What’s coming is worse.

HS Math Teacher

January 20th, 2012
8:31 pm

To hell with Adequate Yearly Progress and No Child Left Behind. It was just a whiz-bang political thing to create some “good feelings” for some. Yes, it did some good. It made us stop and think…. how can we get the patient’s blood pressure up and heart beating while we stop the hemorrhaging. I chose to write a 20-something page paper about this crap in one of those voodoo-education courses I took while getting a Masters in Muckology. Why the hell can’t politicians be more visionary than a crusty old small-town math teacher like me?

Old Physics Teacher

January 20th, 2012
10:38 pm

The King (AYP) is dead! Long Live the King (RTTT and the new Georgia BS)

Same old: same old. My family moves around a lot. One of my children has moved with her family 6-7 times (I can’t keep up). In every move, the city was searched for the “best schools.” The family always relocated in that district. In every case, she complained about the ignorance of the teachers. The school scores measures the intelligence and work ethic of the children in the school – not the teachers. Teachers get too much blame for low scores and too much praise for high scores. As I keep repeating: All that’s required for excellent learning is a log… which has a knowledgeable teacher on one end and a willing and capable student on the other. All else is fluff. Computers, the internet, calculators, even a textbook is unnecessary. Good luck getting that past the politicians. I’m finished grading, and I’m through for the time being. Have a great weekend, guys!


January 21st, 2012
1:07 am

I am wondering….. would anyone NOT in education want their annual review to include opinions of kids? Remember that kids are undeveloped and immature. Remember that kids opinions sometimes change with the wind. They will hate you when you make them do something that might be good for them (go to bed, eat their vegetables, etc.). They will love you when you might do something bad for them (give them candy, let them watch movies, etc.).

Really now – is it wise at all to let kids have a say on teacher evals?

Beverly Fraud

January 21st, 2012
2:57 am

Did anyone ask, if you are going to allow teachers to be evaluated by the people they supervise, why aren’t you going to allow principals to be evaluated by the people they supervise?

As in being CONSISTENT? As in giving teachers at least a MODICUM of protection against retaliation AND incompetent leadership?

Of course not, because we don’t want REAL change, we want PSEUDO change.

No wonder Fled, fled.

More of the Same

January 21st, 2012
5:56 am

And if this is like every other initiative in Georgia, schools will be graded on a curve to compare them, so if the top school gets a 70%, then that becomes 100, and everyone else fall on the curve in their place.

Excellent. Celebrate mediocrity!

Peter Smagorinsky

January 21st, 2012
5:58 am


January 21st, 2012
6:25 am

First of all– “incentified” is NOT, I repeat NOT, a word. And you wonder why kids can’t read. write, spell, etc.? Because PROFESSIONALS coin their own words instead of using English correctly. ( By the way, disrespect is a NOUN, not a verb. You cannot disrespect someone but you can be disrespectful to someone.)

Second– same old, same old. no one is changing what needs to be changed. Sigh. I can’t repeat it all again.

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 21st, 2012
6:31 am




January 21st, 2012
8:24 am

new name, same crap….all I know is if I’m told one more time to do more with less, I’m gonna lose it! Yet we will find a way to fund the new name, same crap and hire former NCLB personnel to tell us how to race to the top….I just want to teach my students in a disciplined environment that is supported by my administration….seems like we get further and further from that every day….depressing!


January 21st, 2012
8:37 am

The No Child Left Behind is just the latest in a long line of social experiments designed to bring black student scores up to the white level. It is a failure, as all the other experiments have been, and this new Performance index will do no better.


January 21st, 2012
8:55 am

I don’t really understand this, but as someone that is not an educator, it appears to me that Georgia, a state that is always far down the list on any test metric, is saying, let us be excused from the national measures because we have a “richer” way to judge our students’ performance? Am I the only one that sees how stupid that is? I think No Child Left Behind is a horror that has done nothing to further education. I believe the Obama Administration wants to get rid of it, but, because it is one of Dubya the Dumb’s legacies, the Republicans are fighting it. It would be great to get rid of it for eveyone. However, if we get a waiver and develop our own measurement of performance, won’t our students always be looked at with a jaundiced eye?


January 21st, 2012
9:46 am

@Deborah thank you for pointing out the obvious…there are many states in this country that consistently do well – in testing and in actually preparing students for life after school – unfortunately, Georgia (and the Feds) seem hellbent on doing it themselves. Of course, if we followed what states like Massachusetts are doing, that leaves few $$ for educational experts and personnel here in Georgia. It’s almost like what I read about DeKalb County….only on a state level…”we want to do the best for the students….as long as my friend/partner/niece/nephew/wife/etc. doesn’t have to lose their job!”


January 21st, 2012
10:52 am

What a bunch of garbage! Yet another attempt by schools to “equalize all schools”. The well performing schools in North Fulton will get zero or next to zero “points” in the following category:

Achievement Gap Closure Score (based upon gap closure at the state or school level)

Yes. let’s reward those schools that went from crappy to improving.


January 21st, 2012
10:53 am

@Deborah – “I believe the Obama Administration wants to get rid of it, but, because it is one of Dubya the Dumb’s legacies, the Republicans are fighting it.”

Unfortunately the ideas and proposals coming from the Obama/Duncan administration have been just as bad as the Bush administration.

You might find this article in the WashPost interesting….



January 21st, 2012
11:26 am

If we are allowed to hold ALL involved accountable, instead of just part of them, we might do better without AYP. That means behavior, work done at home (or not, when due), work at school (the first time, as due), lesson planning and see-through, and setting up the school atmosphere so that quality learning can take place.

Personally, I would like to see us be able to send sick kids home. I am tired of ending up at the doctor or hospital because sick kids are vomiting, sneezing, and coughing all over me, day after day, instead of parents being required to send WELL kids to school. We have said that because one AYP indicator is attendance, we have to keep these kids at school at all costs. Well, I can tell you that I frequently pay the cost of this, and in the last couple of years it has cost me several thousands of dollars.


January 21st, 2012
11:49 am

Good riddance to AYP!


January 21st, 2012
1:17 pm

Remember that high school AYP is currently only on how well 11th graders do on the language arts and math portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test, and the test participation of those 11th graders.

Does anyone know if the waiver is based on the achievement of ALL the kids at a high school? Does it cover achievement in social studies and science too?

Thanks. I will check this out myself but haven’t had time yet.


January 21st, 2012
1:50 pm

To anonymous…for high schools they also look at “on time” graduation rate.


January 21st, 2012
3:53 pm

So, please explain to me how this will be any different from the system currently in place? The only thing I see is that we won’t have to compare how dismally we are failing compared to other states.

Fred in DeKalb

January 21st, 2012
7:32 pm

Mahopinion, currently AYP is solely determined by a simple ‘pass/fail’ based on student performance on a single test, without any consideration for student growth. The expectation is the ALL schools will pass this in 2014, which we know will not happen given the cut scores increase every year. The waiver is seeking to use 3 measures instead of one.

We have this person in DeKalb County called DeKalbite that does not factor in student growth over the course of a year in determining student or program effectiveness. Some schools may have children entering that don’t know how their ABCs, how to count to 10, or basic colors. The current test simply compares students to each other without any concern where the students started. Some 1st graders could probably pass the CRCT for 3rd graders because of the foundation they got at home. Is it fair to compare that child to the one that did not come to school with the same preparation? DeKalbite would say the teacher, principal, central office staffers, and Board members should all be fired because the less prepared child did not pass the test. The new method allows for a victory if the less prepared child demonstrated measurable continuous improvement, even though they may not have passed the test. Most experts including myself believe the using the growth model should be a part of the measurement. DeKalbite’s belief is partially what caused what we saw in APS, attempting to meet a standard that was near impossible to reach.

[...] Farewell to AYP? Looks like someone, anyone, would have known how to use the free “Paint” program that comes free with Microsoft Windows to copy and paste a news article and know how to cut out the entertainment headlines in the AJC and the termite ad. … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Truth in Moderation

January 21st, 2012
9:55 pm


“THE FIRST EXPERIMENT WITH “OUTCOME-BASED EDUCATION” (OBE) WAS CONDUCTED IN England in 1862. Teacher opposition resulted in abandonment of the experiment. Don Martin of Uni- versity of Pittsburgh, George E. Overholt and Wayne J. Urban of Georgia State University wrote Accountability in American Education: A Critique (Princeton Book Company: Princeton, N.J., 1976) containing a section entitled “Payment for Results” which chronicles the English experiment. The following excerpt outlines the experiment:
The call for “sound and cheap” elementary instruction was answered by legislation, passed by Parliament during 1862, known as The Revised Code. This was the legislation that produced payment [for] results, the nineteenth century English accountability system…. The opposition to the English payment-[for]-results system which arose at the time of its introduction was particularly interesting. Teachers provided the bulk of the resistance, and they based their objections on both educational and economic grounds…. They abhorred the narrowness and mechanical character the system imposed on the educational process. They also objected to the economic burden forced upon them by basing their pay on student performance.”

“[Ed. Note: “Payment for Results” and Outcome-Based Education are based on teacher ac- countability and require teaching to the test, the results of which are to be “measured” for accountability purposes. Both methods of teaching result in a narrow, mechanistic system of education similar to Mastery Learning. Teachers in the United States in 1999, as were teach- ers involved in the experiment in England, will be judged and paid according to students’ test scores; i.e., how well the teachers teach to the test. Proponents of Mastery Learning believe that almost all children can learn if given enough time, adequate resources geared to the individual learning style of the student, and a curriculum aligned to test items (teach to the test). Mastery Learning uses Skinnerian methodology (operant conditioning) in order to obtain “predictable” results. Benjamin Bloom, the father of Mastery Learning, says that “the purpose of education is to change the thoughts, actions and feelings of students.” Mastery Learning (ML) and its fraternal twin Direct Instruction (DI) are key components of Outcome- Based Education (OBE) and Effective Schools Research (ESR). The reader is urged to study the definitions of all these terms, including the behaviorist term section found in the glosssary of this book prior to reading further. The one common thread running through this book relates to these terms and their importance in the implementation of workforce training and attitude and value change.”


Truth in Moderation

January 21st, 2012
11:37 pm

“Georgia is proposing to use another form of accountability that it contends is richer and more comprehensive reflection of school effectiveness, a College and Career Ready Performance Index.”

“We feel it is a much more powerful tool for our schools,” said Barge, speaking to the media Friday afternoon. “It will actually drive their school improvement process.”

“Business and industry must be at the table as we develop and implement career pathways.”
-Dr. John D. Barge, State School Superintendent

“College and Career Ready is going to look a lot different than AYP. Next generation accountability systems promote what we want schools to deliver regarding college and career readiness for our youngsters.” CCSSO, November 2010
• The Common Core State Standards clearly illustrate that the next generation of accountability will be based on more than adequacy and focused on getting students into postsecondary programs without the need for support or remediation”


These plans sound like Oregon’s “School-to Work” experiment with “Certificates of Mastery” from the 1990’s……..

“Another article in the same September 8, 1994 issue of The Oregonian was entitled “Model Program Links Classroom to Workplace.” This article by Courtenay Thompson deals with a pilot project to implement school-to-work requirements of the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century. The following are excerpts from that article:
In the blood splatters of murder victims, David Douglas High School senior Chrissy Ballantine is learning about both forensics and her future.
A student in the school’s innovative Law Network course, the 17-year-old is exploring careers by learning to interpret blood splatters with the help of a Multnomah County forensic specialist. Last year, she also analyzed the book Lust Killer, a true-crime novel by Ann Rule about Jerome Brudos, an Oregon serial killer.
Not standard classroom fare, but Ballantine raves about the two-year course, a pilot program to implement school-to-work requirements of the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century…. “We were doing an excellent job of providing a well-rounded college prep education,” said Anthony Palermini, David Douglas superintendent. “But it wasn’t relevant to 25 to 30 percent of our students.”
As a result, the district began developing what it calls Project Stars—”Students Taking Authentic Routes to Success”—in which students select one of six general career areas, or “constellations,” to concentrate their electives. Students will work toward certificates of ad- vanced mastery, a key measure of academic success under state-mandated school reform…. The career focus would start in the seventh grade, when students would take a career-orien- tation class. Students would select their constellation by the time they hit high school.
[Ed. Note: The fact that Oregon’s school-to-work reform plan received the American Legis- lative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) highest educational award should come as a surprise since ALEC is an association created by “conservatives” (Paul Weyrich) in 1981 as a counterpart to the liberal, Rockefeller-spawned ACIR (Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations); both organizations draft “model” legislation for use by state and federal legislators.]”
pp. 337

Truth in Moderation

January 22nd, 2012
12:28 am

“(4) The Seven Intelligences—redefines intelligence to include music, dance, sports, etc. Howard Gardner, departing from traditional education, theorizes that humans have seven intelligences that are associated with brain locations. They are logical- mathematical, linguisitic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. Gardner labels what has been traditionally called a human talent as an intelligence. Parents should have grave concerns about labeling a student’s personal beliefs and his/her interaction with others as intelligences, because the state can then do the developing and assessing of them. This is one of the dangers of Outcome-Based Education since the learner outcomes often include the student’s attitudes and beliefs.”
pp. 340


January 22nd, 2012
1:10 pm

@ Truth in Moderation. Shouldn’t you be paying royalties to the author of THE DELIBERATE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA? Your frequent and extensive cut-and-pasting from this book goes beyond what’s allowed by copyright law….and is pretty boring to read, since you’ve already given us the link to it, over and over and over and over…….

Truth in Moderation

January 22nd, 2012
3:56 pm

Good try. I know the author and research editor personally. I even made my own small contributions to the effort. Charlotte ENCOURAGES what I am doing. That’s why she made it available on the internet FOR FREE.


January 22nd, 2012
4:17 pm

@ Truth in Moderation. Then the AJC should be billing her for free advertising, and I’m not kidding. Again, it tries one’s patience on a blog to see long columns simply cut-and-pasted from a book or an article. Can’t you say it yourself in a few sentences?

Truth in Moderation

January 22nd, 2012
4:38 pm

@ Observer
Those long threatening passages are called PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTATION.
I even included quotes from the Georgia DOE. Do they threaten you as well?
If Charlotte’s book is FREE, how could this be considered advertising?
If anyone gets free advertising on this blog, it’s the Governor’s office as well as public school propagandists and their enabling 501C3 FOUNDATIONS. The blog is called “Get Schooled”, NOT “Get Government Schooled”.
Why don’t you GET a life?