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Take Part in Georgia's Education

August 23, 2016
Teacher helping high school student.

In the weeks and months ahead, Georgians will come together to chart a new path for our state’s education system — and I hope you will be one of them.

Georgia is currently working on a state plan responsive to the Every Student Succeeds Act, the replacement for the federal law commonly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). As you may already know, this is a much-needed change; NCLB focused far too heavily on a top-down federal government approach to education.

Update: The U.S. Department of Education approved Georgia’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan on January 19, 2018.

ESSA, on the other hand, allows states and local districts to make education decisions in the best interest of their students, rather than reacting to overreaching federal requirements. As we transition from No Child Left Behind to ESSA and develop a state plan, we want to hear from everyone invested in Georgia’s education system — from parents, students and teachers to business leaders and community members.

I hope you’ll save the date for one of our upcoming ESSA feedback sessions, which will be held from August to October in locations all over the state. Specific venues are TBD, so check back on our website ( or subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when locations are announced. Meetings are planned in the following areas:

  • Aug. 24: Columbia County
  • Aug. 29: Habersham County
  • Sept. 14: Fulton County
  • Sept. 19: Muscogee County
  • Oct. 12: Laurens County
  • Oct. 17: Gordon County
  • Nov. 1: Dougherty County (rescheduled)
  • Nov. 3: Chatham County (rescheduled)

For individuals who are unable to make it to an in-person ESSA meeting, there will still be an opportunity to provide feedback on the direction of Georgia’s education system through an online survey. Subscribe to email updates from the Department of Education or check back at the same web address and you’ll be notified when the survey is sent out.

We’ve assembled six Working Committees and an Advisory Committee composed of local superintendents, teachers, students, parents, state agency heads and representatives of education organizations, advocacy groups and civil rights groups. The Working Committees are charged with gathering your feedback and developing Georgia’s draft state plan to the Advisory Committee.

We hope to submit Georgia’s state plan by March 2017. Full implementation of Georgia’s new education plan will be effective in the 2017-18 school year.

I hope you will join us in charting a new course for the students of our state — they are our future leaders, and they deserve our very best.

Last updated February 22, 2018.

About the Author

Richard Woods, a 22-year public school educator and former small business owner, is Georgia’s School Superintendent.​

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