Thursday, February 9, 2012

Isakson Applauds Approval of Georgia’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ Waiver Request

Media release: U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today praised the U.S. Department of Education's decision to grant the state of Georgia a waiver from 'No Child Left Behind.' In September 2011, Isakson and Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John Barge personally delivered Georgia's request for a waiver from the law to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.


Isakson formerly chaired the Georgia State Board of Education and, as a member of the U.S. House, helped draft 'No Child Left Behind.' The law was designed as a comprehensive education reform to strengthen this nation's public schools by providing them with the necessary resources to give all children a quality education.


"I applaud the administration for making the right decision today by granting the state of Georgia this waiver," said Isakson. "While 'No Child Left Behind' is not perfect, it has greatly improved the quality and delivery of education in the United States, and it has held schools accountable for student performance.  After a decade of 'No Child Left Behind,' it is time to make changes based on what we have learned from its implementation, and that includes allowing states and local school systems to make choices that best suit their students' needs."


In September 2011, the state of Georgia asked the U.S. Department of Education for permission to replace 'No Child Left Behind' with a new program called Georgia's College and Career Ready Performance Index. This proposal, which was developed by Superintendent Barge and the Georgia Department of Education, measures 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.

Last year, Secretary Duncan decided to allow states the option of seeking a waiver from a provision included in 'No Child Left Behind' called Adequate Yearly Progress, also known informally as AYP, which requires that states use standardized testing to measure progress from one year to the next and to set the bar higher each year for schools. Isakson believes that Georgia's new program to replace AYP develops an index system that more accurately and fairly measures educational progress than AYP. Georgia's program will also allow parents, teachers and administrators greater ability monitor the progress of individual students.

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