State School Superintendent Richard Woods is proposing a package of measures to strengthen transparency between schools and communities, ensuring parents have meaningful access to information about what their children are learning while reducing duplication and redundancy that leads to additional testing and instructional programs for teachers to implement.
The State Board of Education today approved Superintendent Woods’ recommendation to initiate rulemaking procedures on a state board rule that would require local school districts to:
- Adopt a local policy to ensure transparency with parents and the community
- Ensure parental access to their child’s education record
- Publicly post (and maintain posting of) the school district’s annual operating budget
- Annually report local formative assessments and curriculum and instructional materials
- Provide for public review, board approval, and parental inspection of surveys for research projects, grants, or by third-party providers
Each school district would annually report to the Georgia Department of Education all formal curriculum programs used in classrooms, formative assessments, and surveys administered to students at the school or district level. GaDOE would then create a dashboard to provide a simple way for the public to access the information.
“Public schools are a public good,” Superintendent Woods said. “Not only does this package of measures strengthen the partnership between schools and their communities, it also forms the foundation of a parental bill of rights – legislation I look forward to working with Governor Kemp to get passed this legislative session.”
Additionally, the reporting of curriculum programs and formative tools is intended to reduce duplication and redundancy – and to assist school districts in reducing the testing burden on teachers and students as they inventory, identify, and streamline redundant formative assessment requirements.
“We cannot keep adding to teachers’ plates,” Superintendent Woods said. “Instead of continuing to add new programming without evaluating what we’re already asking of our educators and students, these reporting requirements would provide a resource for school districts to inventory, align, and reduce redundant instructional programs and tests. This is an essential step, along with teacher raises and the full funding of public education, to keeping our talented educators in the classroom.”
The proposed board rule will be posted for 30 days of public comment, with a vote on adoption scheduled for the board’s February regular meeting.