DOE SealGeorgia's Race to the Top

"Making Education Work for All Georgians"

Issue: # 3

June 2011 

Dear     ,

Welcome, this is the Race to the Top (RT3) E Newsletter.  In this newsletter, we highlight the latest developments regarding Georgia's RT3 efforts.  Please feel free to forward this issue to others and encourage them to subscribe.  

If you have questions about Georgia's Race to the Top efforts, then please don't hesitate to contact us.
Jon Rogers
Race to the Top - Director of Communications
Department of Education
404-463-1522 (Office)
P.S. If you received this e Newsletter more than once, then I apologize.  We are consolidating our email subscription lists.

US Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge

New State Competition to Establish and Expand High Quality Early Learning Programs 

Arne Duncan_Kathleen Sebelius
Click on Image to Watch Announcement Video

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new $500 million state-level grant competition, the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. 


"To win the future, our children need a strong start," said Secretary Duncan. "The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge encourages states to develop bold and comprehensive plans for raising the quality of early learning programs across America."


The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge will reward states that create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems with better coordination, clearer learning standards, and meaningful workforce development. Secretary Duncan and Secretary Sebelius also challenged the broader innovation community - leading researchers, high-tech entrepreneurs, foundations, non-profits and others - to engage with the early learning community and to close the school readiness gap.

States applying for challenge grants will be encouraged to increase access to quality early learning programs for low income and disadvantaged children, design integrated and transparent systems that align their early care and education programs, bolster training and support for the early learning workforce, create robust evaluation systems to document and share effective practices and successful programs, and help parents make informed decisions about care for their children.

The Race to the To-Early Learning Challenge will be administered jointly by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.


Guidance, eligibility, range of awards and number of grants will be announced in coming weeks. The application will be released later this summer with grants awarded to states no later than December 31, 2011. 


For More Information HERE  

RT3 Pilot Program Schedule:

2011 - 12 School Year

Race to the Top - Georgia is creating a number of tools that will assist innovation and reform in four primary educational areas: 

  1. Recruiting, preparing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most
  2. Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction
  3. Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy
  4. Turning around our lowest-achieving schools

Teacher_Leader Effectiveness Cycle 2011_12

During the 2011-2012 school year, Race to the Top - Georgia will pilot a number of the innovation and reform measures within their partner school districts.  The implementation of each measure will include a time for training, as well as, collecting, calculating, and reviewing the results.  This pilot process will provide valuable feedback to allow for further improvements and modifications of these tools for a greater impact within Georgia's school districts.  

These reform instruments include:

  •  Revised CLASS and Leader Keys
  • Other Student Learning Measures, Surveys, Artifacts
  • Student Growth Score
  • Achievement Gap Reduction

Spotlight: Professional Standards Commission's GaTAPP Program


Georgia's Professional Standards Commission (PSC) is a valued partner within Georgia's Race to the Top program.  They are playing an important role in improving Georgia's teacher certification process and helping highly trained subject matter experts (ie. university professors, engineers, chemists, etc.) share their knowledge in the classroom.  


In 2001, the PSC began a program called the Georgia Teacher

Preparation Program (TAPP).  Initially, this program allowed individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institute, who did not complete a teacher education degree program, to participate in one of five paths towards a alternative teaching certification.  In 2008, PSC  sought to improve and expand the program by offering more consistent assesstments and accessibility throughout the various certification paths.  With a rule change, PSC eventually renamed the program the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP). 


The GaTAPP program has grown to twenty various paths from adjunct licensing of highly trained subject matter experts for classroom teaching.  Its goal is to properly equip these transition teacher candidates with the skills necessary for success in the classroom.  Each transtion teacher candidate receives support and coaching by a team of qualified mentors called the Candidate Support Team (CST), which is comprised of a school-based administrator, a school-based mentor/coach, a program provider supervisor, and a content specialist.  This team will assess the level of knowledge and skills of the individual and recommend the appropriate path for the teacher candidate to take in order to accomplish the program.  


For more information on Georgia Professional Standards Commission's GaTAPP program, please click on the link below.  


Georgia Teaching Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy 

Race to the Top - Monitoring Plan

Magnifying GlassRace to the Top - Georgia is a federally funded grant, which includes the development of a number of educational resources to improve our state's education system.  Because of the importance of these "grant" dollars, the GaDOE has created a monitoring plan to insure accurate and effective use of the funds.  The monitoring plan consists of four major component:


 Monitoring of Expenditures- LEA (local education agency) sub-recipients must submit for approval a Scope of Work and an annual budget through the Consolidated Application before funds can be expended. 


Project Management-Two RT3 project managers and two budget analysts will monitor the execution of projects outlined in Georgia's Scope of Work and the state agencies responsible for implementing RT3 initiatives 


Onsite Monitoring- A GaDOE onsite Cross-Functional Monitoring Team will visit each LEA sub-recipient to apply the criteria included in the Monitoring Form.


Lowest Achieving Schools State Directed Status- A highly effective State Director is assigned to each lowest achieving school designated as Needs Improvement Year 5 or Higher (NI - 5+)

In This Issue
USDOE Early Learning Challenge
Pilot Program for 2011-12 School Year
Partner Spotlight: PSC
RT3 Monitoring Plan

Prime Time Politics




Race to the Top: Georgia

Host, Scott Slade (Newstalk 750 AM & 95.5 FM), interviews Teresa MacCartney (DOE Deputy Superintendent, RT3 Implementation Director) and Steve Dolinger (Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education) about Georgia's involvement in Race to the Top.

Watch Show HERE