In a Speech to the State School Board, Deal Outlines Goals for Education Reform

School funding, teacher compensation, and school accountability were all topics of discussion as Governor Nathan Deal visited Gwinnett County on Wednesday to address State School Board members, legislators and other education leaders. The governor’s address to the group was one of the first opportunities he had to expand on his idea of creating a study group to look at education reform, should he be re-elected in November.

According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, Deal wants to figure out a new method to reward the most effective teachers, based on how well their students perform.

“What is the quality of growth in a particular teacher’s classroom,” Deal said. “And if they are showing exceptional results in terms of student growth, then they should be rewarded for that. … Teachers should be rewarded for being, just that, good teachers. They should not be put in a position of only being able to go up the ladder of administration in order to get a pay raise. We should give them appropriate compensation for the fact that they are the best in the classroom.”

In addition to looking at ways to better compensate outstanding teachers, the study group will also examine the relationship between state education requirements and the needs of local systems.

“It will embrace not only the financial structure of how we fund K-12 education, but will also embrace delivery models keeping in mind that all of us want to give local systems as much flexibility as possible, but the other side of the coin is always accountability for the flexibility,” [Deal] said.

Another goal will be to examine the way the state funds K-12 education. The Post story points out that the state’s largest school system as been underfunded by the current formula, known as Quality Basic Education. Had the Gwinnett system been fully funded according to that formula, the system would have received an additional $816 million in state funding since 2003.

House Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman of Duluth says that while the formula must be adjusted, judging it by the amount that education has been underfunded might not be the best way to look at the problem. Coleman noted that the state’s 2015 budget for education includes the largest increase in funding in seven years.

As part of his stump speech on education, Governor Deal has pointed out that education spending now accounts for a larger share of the state budget than has been seen since Carl Sanders was governor in the mid 1960s.

2 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    The problem with school is we need to first redefine the mission statement:

    The goal should be after high school graduation, students are prepared with job skills and or ready for a high education program. Not the current No Child Left Behind all kids must be ready for a 4 year college program or out.

    Once we agree on proper goal the rewards should be based on the goal. Since a student has diferent teachers 50 percent should be system wide achievement ( promote team work) and 50 percent personal.

    Goals:

    1) Exceptable graduation rate with job skills and or prepared for higher education system wide.

    2) In elementary school we should have separate volunteer tracks and the teacher should be judged based on the track. If a student takes a non recommended track that student achievement should not be held against teacher…that is the parents fault….

    3) In 7-12 it should be based on track as well….And it should be based on students either getting high school credit/college credit/AP/joint enrollment and or passing certified skills testing for vo tech students.

    4) The school system should get judged on placement rate into higher education and or job skill certifications. Once again if parent and student do not agree with track bad results should be held against school system. Good results for the school system would be an incentive if they made a poor assement.

    The above type system would be centered on real world results and save tax payers lots of money….We could elimante a lot of wasted money and time on unrelated end if year testing. Also it would increase employment with skilled kids ready to work ie massive shortage….Finally, it would lower drop out rate….which saves tax payers money via….crime, repeat grades…..

  2. blakeage80 says:

    Having often read writings about education that at some point compare modern public schools to prisons, I think this kind of reform should be ‘old hat’ for the Governor. Having read the chronicles of the success of his prison reform, I have confidence that he can make a positive difference in education as well. The ABH link is a good read. It tells you what Deal hopes to accomplish.

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