DOE SealGeorgia's Race to the Top

"Making Education Work for All Georgians"

Issue: # 9

May 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
Georgia Department of Education
404-463-1522 (Office)

Measuring Teacher & Leader Impact on Student Achievement

by Susan M. White

Student learning is the ultimate measure of the success of a teacher, school leader, or school district. The goal of the new Teacher and Leader Keys Evaluation Systems is to examine not only teacher/leader practice but to consider how teacher/leader effectiveness impacts student growth and academic achievement

One component of the newly piloted Teacher and Leader Keys Evaluation System in the state of Georgia is Student Growth and Academic Achievement. For teachers of tested subjects, this component consists of a student growth percentile measure. Tested subjects include Reading, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies for grades 4-8 and all high school courses for which there is an End-of-Course Test (EOCT).

Non-tested subjects include all courses not listed above as tested subjects. Approximately 70-75% of all teachers in Georgia teach non-tested subjects. For teachers of non-tested subjects, this component consists of Georgia Department of Education-approved Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) utilizing district-identified achievement growth measures.


District determined SLOs are content-specific, grade level learning objectives that are measurable, are focused on growth in student learning, and are aligned to curriculum standards. As a measure of teachers' impact on student learning, SLOs give educators, school systems, and state leaders an additional means by which to understand, value, and recognize success in the classroom.  Used as one of the student achievement components of Leader Keys Evaluation System, the model will provide information on how much student growth occurred in the school cumulatively over the course of an academic year.


The primary purpose of SLOs is to not only measure but to improve student achievement at the classroom level. The process of setting and using SLOs requires teachers to use assessments to measure student growth.  For each course, pre and post assessments are used to measure student learning of the chosen course standards. Appropriate measures of student learning gains differ substantially based on the learners' grade level, content area, and ability level. Therefore the type and format of assessments are designed or selected so that student progress on the standards may appropriately be measured.  In addition, when districts determine their SLOs for non-tested subjects, growth targets for each student are set which measure student achievement over the instructional period of each course.


Research has found that educators who set high quality objectives often realize greater improvement in student performance. This approach will require unprecedented collaboration between state leaders, district leaders and local school staffs around student achievement. All of this is in an effort to ensure that every child in Georgia has a highly effective teacher every year.
Susan White serves as Program Manager - Division of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, Office of School Improvement for Georgia Department of Education

Georgia Begins Third Round of Innovation Fund Grants

Through Race to the Top funds, the State of Georgia has announced 16 winners of Innovation Fund grants through two rounds of competition (Round One Winners and Round Two Winners). 
The Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) has released the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Third Round of the Innovation Fund grants.  The purpose of the Innovation Fund is to fund partnerships that develop or implement innovative and high-impact programs aimed at producing positive outcomes for students.  An additional purpose of the Innovation Fund is to determine best practices in innovative programming related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, applied learning and teacher and leader recruitment and development to influence future education policy efforts.  


Important details related to this round of grants:

Please note that the Round 3 application process is invitational.  Interested parties must submit a Request to Apply and receive an Invitation to Apply from GOSA.


Technical Assistance Webinar to review the RFP and ask questions:

Date: May 14, 2012

Time: 3 pm



Deadline for Request to Apply: May 30, 2012

Mail or e-mail Request to Apply to contact listed below. This grant cycle is invitational and the Request to Apply is required. Applicants must submit a Request to Apply outlining their proposal concept. GOSA will evaluate the Request and applicants may be invited to submit a full proposal based on the content outlined in their Request.


Invitation to Apply Extended by GOSA: June 8, 2012


Deadline for Proposal Submission: July 10, 2012

Contact Person: Lauren Wright

Governor's Office Student Achievement

205 Jesse Hill, Jr. Drive SE

952 Twin Towers East Atlanta, GA 30334 

(404) 463-1172


Award Notification: September 4, 2012


Awarding Agencies:

U.S. Department of Education


Innovation Fund Workshop

Georgia Race to the Top Innovation Fund Workshop


Discover funding opportunities for new and existing schools through the Race to the Top Innovation Fund, hear from state officials on Georgia's changing charter landscape, and learn from national leaders about what makes an excellent charter school.


Date: Monday, May 14th 2012
Time: 9 am to 1 pm



Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center

250 14th Street, NW

Atlanta, Georgia 30318



Cost: FREE to attend, but you must R.S.V.P. to



Sponsored by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement, the Center for School Change at Macalester College and the National Governors Association

In This Issue
Teacher & Leader Impact on Student Achievement
Georgia Begins 3rd Round
Innovation Fund Workshop


Common Core Georgia Performance Standards

Changes in Georgia's Common Core Standards

Deal signs education bills tweaking Ga. funding

School hosts U.S. Department of Education official

DECAL Promoting Infant Toddler Language and Literacy