Georgia schools moved off “priority” and “focus” lists


About a third of Georgia’s most academically troubled schools have improved enough to be removed from the state’s “priority” and “focus” lists.

The Georgia Department of Education, which keeps the list based on federal criteria, reported Tuesday that 74 of 243 schools were being removed. Twenty five were in metro Atlanta’s five biggest districts: nine in Atlanta, three in Cobb County, five in DeKalb County, five in Fulton County and three in Gwinnett County . None were removed in Clayton County, another major metro district.

Georgia established the lists as part of a waiver granted from requirements of the old No Child Left Behind Act, which was long overdue for an update by the time Congress rewrote the law in December 2015.

The resulting Every Student Succeeds Act does not require a priority and focus list. Instead, it requires schools to be identified and supported as “Comprehensive Support and Improvement" or “Targeted Support and Improvement” schools, with criteria to be submitted to the federal government in September.

Priority schools represent the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools with the highest poverty levels (Title 1 schools) based on achievement data, plus schools with a graduation rate below 60 percent for two consecutive years. Focus schools represent the lowest-performing 10 percent of high poverty schools based on “achievement gap” data, which show the difference between a school’s lowest performing students and the state average, and the amount of gap closure.

Watch: 7 things to know about Georgia’s new plan for low-performing schools


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Do metro Atlanta school districts have enough bus drivers?
Do metro Atlanta school districts have enough bus drivers?

Most metro Atlanta school districts say they’re not terribly short of school bus drivers, despite a national survey that speaks of a “severe” shortage. But getting and keeping drivers is a continual effort, and it gets harder when the economy’s doing pretty well. Why is that? Find out, and find out where metro Atlanta school...
Rural Georgia is losing residents and jobs. Will anything bring young people back?
Rural Georgia is losing residents and jobs. Will anything bring young people back?

Nationwide, 20 percent of counties in the United States are deemed distressed because they have high unemployment and poverty and are losing population and jobs. In Georgia, 53 percent of counties qualify as distressed and most are rural, said Georgia Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Chris Clark, who was among today&rsquo...
School districts prepare for Atlanta’s near-total eclipse
School districts prepare for Atlanta’s near-total eclipse

Think of Monday afternoon’s eclipse as the quiet before the storm. Life will surely come to a standstill at 2:35 p.m. as Atlantans lift their gaze to observe the dark side of the moon when it blocks nearly all of the sun. Then, boom, it’ll be rush hour. And it’ll probably be a doozy, aggravated by late school buses pouring onto the...
Ethics panel says APS board member Grant did nothing wrong
Ethics panel says APS board member Grant did nothing wrong

The Atlanta school board’s ethics commission cleared board member Leslie Grant of wrongdoing after a complaint lodged by the board’s eight other members. The independent ethics panel released a statement saying its investigation “determined that no good and sufficient cause exists” to find there was a violation. The seven-member...
New report: Less support for charter schools but more for vouchers. Why?
New report: Less support for charter schools but more for vouchers. Why?

A lot of folks are trying to figure out the drop in public support for charter schools revealed in the 11th annual edition of a well-regarded poll that examines current attitudes toward major issues in K–12 education. The poll by Education Next, a scholarly journal published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford...
More Stories