Measuring academic growth in Georgia

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

You might say Georgia's teachers and schools are going to be graded on the curve. And in this particular context, the state's education evaluation process probably should include a curve or two.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday that a new report from the state Department of Education will reflect a change in assessment. Specifically, student progress -- as opposed to just student scores or pass/fail rates on tests -- will be part of the evaluation equation.

That's certainly a shift, in tone if nothing else, from the more than vaguely threatening "No excuses" rhetoric of years past. Many educators have been concerned, not without justification, about being held to an impossible standard. Teachers and principals who deal with especially high percentages of poor kids, or students still learning English, or large numbers of students in special education programs can't reasonably be expected to deliver standardized test results comparable to those of schools not faced with as many such challenges.

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