The Union Recorder

October 30, 2012

Community hears about state of education at Eggs & Issues series

From staff reports
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Geneva Braziel delivered an update on the state of local public education Tuesday morning as part of the Milledgeville Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Issues series. 

Braziel delivered a 40-minute update to a larger than anticipated audience at Crockett's restaurant as part of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce's Eggs & Issues series presented by Central Georgia Technical College and sponsored by Lyn Chandler and Windstream Communications. After her presentation, Braziel also took questions from the audience, which included city and county officials, local business owners and Chamber members as well as educators and school board members. 

The states' Common Core Performance Standards, while rigorous and cumbersome for school systems to implement, are designed with the future in mind, she said. 

“The goal is to make our students more globally competitive,” said Braziel, ensuring that Georgia's students are prepared for the workforce and that gaps in the learning process are filled. 

Planning began as early as last year for implementing the first phase of the new standards, which will focus initially on English and language arts classes for all grade levels, kindergarten through ninth grade. Local educators spent last year and parts of the summer in intense professional learning in anticipation of the new standards.

Along with the new state curriculum, Georgia will also begin phasing out the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability system, a key barometer in the federal No Child Left Behind act.  Georgia was among the first states that applied for and received a No Child Left Behind waiver to opt out of the federal performance standard requirements, opening the door for the new state curriculum and greater flexibility for establishing local and state assessments. 

While the waiver still awaits clearance of a few final hurdles, the all too-familiar Criterion-Reference Competency Test (CRCT) and the AYP standards are now apart of a bygone system that will be phased out by 2013-2014. 

The new standards, Braziel said, will require a lot from everyone. Everyone must change mindsets in order to make the shift to 21st century skills development. 

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VIDEO: Braziel talking about the state of education in Baldwin County.