Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) provide an opportunity to leverage one of the biggest changes to public education in decades to improve education for all students. Recognizing the importance of CCGPS and the expectation that all Georgia students be prepared for college and careers, we have come together to support Principles for Equity in CCGPS Implementation to ensure all of our students have the supports they need to reach this ambitious new goal. We know that too often academic opportunity and success in our state is determined by race, family income and first language. We seek to change that reality and ensure that we have excellence and equity in all corners of the state. CCGPS should be implemented equitably and must ensure the following:
1. All schools implement comprehensive and evidence-based strategies to support struggling students.
Every student deserves a fair and equal opportunity to meet Georgia’s academic standards. For students who were struggling to meet the previous standards, it will take intentional, innovative efforts to bring them up to CCGPS. It is critical that schools understand each student and work with parents and teachers to provide each struggling student with what s/he needs to get caught up to grade level standards. Increase Georgia Department of Education technical assistance to schools and districts to ensure they have access to proven practices to support struggling students.
2. Provide additional supports for students learning English as a second language to improve outcomes.
As of 2012, English Learner students in Georgia were 26 percent less likely to graduate from high school in four years than any other students. With Georgia’s increasing diversity, it is important for the state to ensure that its growing English Learner population is adequately prepared to achieve the CCGPS.
3. Develop and implement policies and practices to empower and engage parents and families in every school.
Given the enormous task that implementing the CCGPS continues to be, providing avenues for parent engagement that help parents understand what the CCGPS is and what it means for their child’s future education and employment opportunities is critical.
4. Support teachers and students by ensuring all schools have their fair share of experienced teachers and provide additional supports to beginning teachers.
One of the primary indicators of student success is the quality of the teacher.
Studies show that teachers become most effective after the first two to three years of teaching. Based on the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection, the lowest performing Georgia schools also have the highest concentration of teachers within their first or second year of teaching. And these schools also tend to have large numbers of low-income and minority students.
5. Provide neutral and independent monitoring of Georgia schools and CCGPS implementation.
Georgia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver extension request includes a revision of the state evaluation process and recalculating how school ratings are measured. The extension leaves minimal support for lowest rated (Alert) schools, as more focus will be applied to higher rated schools. New plans leave little to no internal support for low-income schools in the near future. Georgia would greatly benefit from hiring monitors that, after intensive training, would perform random site visits to ensure effective implementation of the CCGPS.