Report: Georgia shines in Common Core implementation

Georgia’s implemenation of the Common Core educational standards was recently given high marks on a report from a nonprofit and nonpartisan education board.

The report from the Southern Regional Education Board tracked progress in 15 states and benchmarked five areas to find “leading states” and “strong states.”

Georgia was named a “leading state,” with the most comprehensive array of resources and materials and the most extensive efforts, in two areas: Teaching Resources and Accountability. Georgia was identified as a “strong state” in Timeline and Approach to Standards, Professional Development and Teacher and Leader Evaluation.

“The SREB report acknowledges the great work our staff at the Georgia Department of Education has done to assist schools in the implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards,” State School Superintendent John Barge said in a press release. “The implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards has been embraced by our teachers, and kids are now being challenged at higher levels, which is critical for them to compete for jobs and spots in the colleges of their choice.”

Gwinnett County Public Schools has aligned its Academic, Knowledge and Skills curriculum with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.

Georgia is one of seven states among the 15 measured that administers assessments fully aligned to the Common Core, and is “better prepared than others” to administer assessments online, according to the report. All 15 states have, are developing, or are acquiring, some formative assessment tools for classroom use, but only six states have “particularly strong resources” already available.

In its notes on Teaching Resources, the SREB identified Georgia as one of four states studied to offer an extensive array of Common Core-aligned tools to teachers, including sample instructional plans that address all of the standards for an entire school year for all grade levels in English language arts and math. Georgia is also one of 10 states in the study to offer the most extensive Common Core training to teachers, according to the SREB.

In its notes on accountability, the SREB identified Georgia as one of three states in the study with the most extensive set of aligned measures in their general statewide accountability systems. The report placed the spotlight on Georgia’s use of Lexile targets, scores that indicate students’ reading comprehension abilities as they advance through grade levels, as a measure that can provide information on the state’s successful implementation of the Common Core standards.