State-wide groups seek input on education initiative

A task force backed by two state-wide associations for school leaders is asking the public to check out its recommendations for improving education in Georgia, and then offer feedback on whether the task force is on the right track.

On Tuesday, the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) announced that the 30-member planning team for "A Vision for Public Education," an initiative that includes the Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA), had released five draft reports on education in the state.

In the five reports, there are 35 recommendations for local school systems to consider implementing, to improve education at the local level. The reports focus on the areas of early learning, teaching, human "capital," accountable leadership, and organizational efficacy. They are available on the initiative's web site: www.visionforpubliced.org/.

"The planning team is urging citizens from all stakeholder groups to visit the vision project web site to read the draft reports and provide feedback on the recommendations," said GSBA Spokesperson Laura Reilly, in a written statement. Reilly could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The deadline to log onto the initiative's web site, review the reports, which contain the recommendations, and offer feedback to the planning team is Aug. 31, according to Reilly's statement.

The second draft versions of the reports will be adopted by the planning team during a two-day meeting, Sept. 21-22, according to the initiative's web site. A plan for disseminating the reports to education stakeholders is still being worked on.

Some of the recommendations include: School systems providing full-year educational programs for children from birth to five years old; developing a useful, comprehensive and balanced assessments system to guide teacher and student work; developing safe and orderly learning environments; and creating a state-wide network in which schools and school districts share operational practices with each other.

The initiative's planning team is made of 15 current and former school board members from across the state, and 15 superintendents from across the state. One of its members is Greene County School System Superintendent Barbara Pulliam-Davis, who is also a former superintendent of Clayton County Public Schools.

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