The U.S. Department of Education threatened Tuesday to withhold $10 million in grant funds because Georgia’s new teacher evaluation system won’t include the merit pay component the state promised when it pursued the grant.
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RACE TO THE TOP TIMELINE IN GEORGIA
August 2010:Georgia wins a $400 million Race to the Top education improvement grant from the federal government. The state will share the money with 26 school districts, including those in Gwinnett, DeKalb, Clayton, Cherokee and the city of Atlanta. School districts in Cobb, Fulton and Forsyth counties decline to participate, citing their concern about the federal strings attached to the money.
November 2010:Nathan Deal is elected governor of Georgia. John Barge is elected superintendent.
February 2011:The U.S. Department of Education signs off on detailed plans submitted by Georgia school districts.
June 2011:The state Board of Education votes to spend $758,000 to hire a team of experts to help develop an evaluation system for teachers and administrations based on how their students perform academically.
November 2011:Georgia scales back the pilot of its evaluation system. In part because of new state leadership, the U.S. Department of Education allows Georgia to delay implementation of the evaluation system from fall 2011 to the 2012-2013 school year.
December 2011:The Obama administration raises concern about the slow pace of filling 21 high-level positions tied to grant implementation.
July 2012:The U.S. Department of Education places a $33 million portion of Georgia’s grant on high-risk status because of concerns about the development of the new teacher evaluation system.
January 2013:A pilot study of the new system shows that only a tiny fraction of the state’s teachers are ineffective, results which are at odds with the state’s low scores on some national tests.
February 2013:The U.S. Department of Education singles out Georgia as struggling more than most states in implementing changes promised in its grant application.
July 2013:The U.S. Department of Education warns Georgia that it will withhold $10 million in grant funds if the state does not follow through on its promise to implement a merit pay component to its teacher evaluation system.