DOE SealGeorgia's Race to the Top

"Making Education Work for All Georgians"

Issue: # 8

March 2012 


Welcome to the Race to the Top (RT3) E Newsletter!


Highlighted in this issue you will find the latest developments regarding Georgia's RT3 initiatives. Please feel free to forward this issue and contact us with any questions or comments.


Jon Rogers
Race to the Top - Communications
Department of Education
404-463-1522 (Office)

Teacher and Principal Induction Guidance

MentoringGeorgia's vision as set forth in the RT3 application states:


"To equip all Georgia students, through effective teachers and leaders and through creating the right conditions in Georgia's schools and classrooms, with the knowledge and skills to empower them to 1) graduate from high school, 2) be successful in college and/or professional careers, and 3) be competitive with their peers throughout the United States and the world."

  • Increasing the overall effectiveness of teachers and leaders is at the heart of the RT3 plan.
  • Effective teachers and leaders are critical factors in raising student achievement.


The Teacher and Principal Guidance documents were developed as a component of Georgia's Race to the Top initiative. A cross-disciplinary team of fifty members - including teachers, instructional coaches, early career and experienced principals, district leaders, university faculty, education organization staff and state agency leaders worked collaboratively to distill research on effective teacher and principal induction practices and mentoring into guidance that is intended to be flexible and accommodating of the wide range of districts and district needs in Georgia. This work was facilitated by the Georgia Department of Education and the Professional Standards Commission.


The draft induction documents were posted online for public comment through December 30, 2011. Feedback from the RT3 districts, non-RT3 districts, higher education, New Teacher Center and other national organizations was reviewed by the task force in late February. Using consensus building protocols revisions and edits were made.


The induction guidance and domains collectively provides for an effective induction program:  Roles and Responsibilities, Leadership and Organizational Structures, Orientation, mentoring, ongoing Performance Assessment and Program Evaluation. An investment from all stakeholders is required to ensure teacher and principal effectiveness. All RT3 districts are required to implement teacher and principal formal induction programs for 2012-2013.


Please click on the links below to review the induction guidance documents.


Teacher Induction Guidance


Principal Induction Guidance


Induction Task Force Members

Common Core Georgia Performance Standards Broadcasts

The Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Public Broadcasting continue their partner broadcasts of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS). 
CCGPS Introduction Broadcast
Common Core Georgia Performance Standards Introduction Broadcast
If you have missed one of the previous broadcasts, then please click on the links below to watch the specific grade and subject broadcasts.
English Language Arts & Literacy:


For future broadcasts, you can check the schedule @

Turning Around the Lowest Achieving Schools

Jason Snyder (Deputy Assistant Secretary for School Turnaround:US Department of Education) @ Henry County High School
Jason Snyder (US Dept. of Education: Deputy Assistant Secretary for School Turnaround) visits students @ Henry County High School

School Turnaround is a dramatic and comprehensive intervention in a persistently low achieving school (LAS)  that produces significant gains in student achievement. Race to the Top districts with identified schools that are identified as LAS are responsible for implementing one of four intervention models that have the greatest potential to dramatically improve outcomes for students attending the school. The four intervention models are as follows: 

  • TURNAROUND MODEL: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
  • RESTART MODEL: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.
  • SCHOOL CLOSURE: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.
  • TRANSFORMATION MODEL: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.

Of the 40 LAS in Georgia, 35 are implementing the transformation model.  Additionally, there are three schools implementing the turnaround model and one closure.  


To further support the work of turning around the lowest achieving schools, the Office of School Turnaround has partnered with Communities In Schools to open two Performance Learning Centers (PLC) in Floyd and Richmond County Schools.  PLCs are geared toward high school students who are not succeeding in the traditional school setting and have been deemed at risk of dropping out. 


Finally, the Office of School Turnaround has also partnered with The New Teacher Project and Teach For America to  provide alternative certification and recruiting services to urban and rural districts in an effort to increase the number of effective teachers in the lowest-achieving schools.


What has been accomplished?  

Although relatively early in the transformation process, leading indicators from the 40 schools are positive.  A few schools who are in year 2 of their reform initiative have already recognized double digit gains in graduation rate or mathematics achievement on standardized assessments. 


To date, 17 students have graduated from the two operational PLCs.


For more information about the Georgia Department of Education's School Turnaround process, please click on the following link for the website: GADOE School Turnaround Department.


Monitoring the Process and Progress

Within Georgia's Race to the Top efforts, the Georgia Department of Education monitors for program quality (how well each initiative is implemented with fidelity) and compliance (how well the local school district is following federal requirements, including how funds are spent).


Components of Compliance:  

* Are expenditures allowable - are expenditures reasonable, necessary, and allocable? 

* Are expenditures consistent with approved budget and Scope Of Work (plan approved by the Georgia Department of Education)? 

* Are program requirements being met? Are program requirements being implemented with quality?


Monitoring Process for LEAs:

Quarterly Expenditure Reports

* Submitted by the LEA and reviewed by GaDOE to determine if expenditures are appropriate

* Allows GaDOE to handle discrepancies before the end of the year


Quarterly Progress Reports

* Submitted by the LEA and reviewed by GADOE to determine how well the LEA is meeting its goals and performance targets and the challenges and successes of the work at the LEA

* Allows GaDOE to provide technical assistance and guidance before grant funds are continually spent on ineffective practices and/or processes


Annual Review of Scope of Work and Budget

* Submitted by the LEA and reviewed by GaDOE to determine if changes are needed before additional funds are provided to the LEA

* Allows GaDOE to provide assistance to LEA before funds are expended


On-Site Monitoring Visit

* Intensive on-site review of how funds are spent and the progress the LEA is making in meeting its goals and performance targets

* Each LEA will receive an on-site visit at least once during the grant cycle and more if warranted

* A formal report of any findings and required corrective actions is compiled by GaDOE and submitted to the LEA


Steps if Monitoring Process Reveals necessary corrective action:

The RT3 Implementation team will work with the LEA to develop a corrective action plan, which will indicate how deficiencies will be corrected, the responsible staff, and a timeline. RT3 Implementation team will monitor the progress.


Consequences for under performing program quality and/or compliance:

Continuum of GaDOE Interventions (depending on the non-compliance and quality of implementation) ranging from providing Technical Assistance; Issuing a Formal Letter of Notice to LEA and Written Report to State Board of Education; Withholding Funds until the LEA complies; Formally Terminating of the MOU and determining LEA Repayment of Funds.


For more information about RT3 and the Monitoring Process (

In Case You Missed It

The list of subscribers to Georgia's Race to the Top 
E Newsletter continue to grow.  For those of you, who may have missed a previous newsletter, we have them posted on our official website ( under the "Latest Updates - News" tab.  
Race to the Top Website
Click for Official Website

Or you can read them by clicking on the "respective" links listed below:


Issue 7: January 2012


Issue 6: November - December 2011


Issue 5: September - October 2011


Issue 4: July - August 2011


Issue 3: June 2011


Issue 2: April - May 2011


Issue 1: March 2011


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In This Issue
Teacher & Leader Induction Guidance
Common Core GPS Broadcasts
School Turnaround Progress
Monitoring Process and Progress
In Case You Missed It


School hosts U.S. Department of Education official

DECAL Promoting Infant Toddler Language and Literacy

New report on improving graduation rates singles out success of Georgia and APS

New evaluation method gives special attention to some Georgia schools

Georgia Certifies First STEM School

Dade County students to evaluate their teachers