Saralyn Barkley, elementary curriculum supervisor, standing, leads a discussion by the Instructional Services and Accountability Committee on Title IIA, a federal grant program intended to increase academic achievement by improving the quality of teachers and principals.
ALBANY — The Instructional Services and Accountability Committee of the Dougherty County Board of Education met Friday at the School Administration Building to discuss upcoming performance goals for teachers.
The committee discussed at length the federal Title IIA grant and goals set forth by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for its use. According to federal definition, the purpose of the Title IIA program is to increase academic achievement by improving teacher and principal quality.
The description states that the program is to be carried out by increasing the number of “highly qualified teachers in classrooms; increasing the number of highly qualified principals and assistant principals in schools, and increasing the effectiveness of teachers and principals by holding Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and schools accountable for improvements in student academic achievement.
According to Dianne Daniels, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, while “highly qualified” does not necessarily require an advanced educational degree, it does require the teacher or principal to meet the requirements of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Daniels said it is the goal of the Dougherty County School System that all of the system’s teachers be rated as highly qualified.
Before the Title IIA discussion led by Saralyn Barkley, elementary curriculum supervisor, members of the committee were given printouts of the GPSC standards concerning Title IIA grant pertaining to “Recruitment, Induction, and Retention of High Quality Teachers and Principals.”
The GPSC guide and the corresponding committee discussion addressed topics such as “performance indicators” for educators, LEA plans, “equity goals” for minority children, priority of funding to specific schools, and class sizes, recruitment and retention of highly qualified educators.
According to Dougherty School Board member, Darrel Elum, a big part of the committee’s purpose Friday was to review guidelines pertinent to the College and Career Ready Performance Index, put forth by John Barge, Georgia school superintendent.
“There are some real problems with the existing No Child Left Behind educational system,” Elum said, “and now that the (CRPI) has been approved, we don’t have to follow those rules.”
Elum said the Obama administration recognized the shortcomings of the No Child Left Behind Act — the educational “law of the land” — and had put it to individual states to find a federally acceptable alternative. Georgia is one of only a “few states” to have earned a waiver from NCLB, Elum said.