DOE SealGeorgia's Race to the Top

"Making Education Work for All Georgians"

Issue: # 10

August 2012 


Welcome to the Race to the Top (RT3) E Newsletter!


Highlighted in this issue you will find the latest developments regarding Georgia's RT3 initiatives. Please feel free to forward this issue and contact us with any questions or comments.


Jon Rogers
Race to the Top - Communications
Georgia Department of Education
404-463-1522 (Office)

State Board Approves RT3 Items

The State Board of Education recently approved nine items related to some Georgia's Race to the Top initiatives, including: allocations for LEAs, contract renewals for specific projects, improving educational resources, professional learning, new teacher programs, stipends for teachers, and more. 


For more information about the individual board items, you can find it on the State Board of Education's E Board website at the following link for their August 22nd Board Meeting Agenda


The Race to the Top items are listed as follows:    

       Contract -RT3 Funded Metro RESA English Language Arts (ELA) Professional Learning Specialists

       RT3 Contract - Resource Reallocation Support - Education Resources Strategies

       RT3 Contract - Gwinnett County Schools - Quality Plus Leaders Academy

       RT3 Grant - FY 13 LEA Allocations

       Contract - Race To The Top- Atlanta Public Schools - TFA RT3 funding repurposing

       Contract - Race To The Top- Communities In Schools - Contract Renewal

       Contract - Race To The Top - Teach For America - Contract Renewal

       Contract - FY 13 - TNTP/The New Teacher Project Contract Renewal

       Grant - Stipends for Georgia Teaching Fellows - The New Teacher Project/TNTP

The approvals of these board items are instrumental for continuing the important education initiatives within Race to the Top.   


More Districts and Schools to Participate in Teacher & Leader Keys Evaluations

Students Raising Hands

When Georgia began its Race to the Top (RT3) efforts, the state initially partnered with twenty-six school districts.  After collaborating with the state to create and pilot a new teacher and leader keys evaluation, the partner districts will evaluate all district teachers and leaders during the 2012-13 school year.  These original twenty-six RT3 partner school districts include: Atlanta, Ben Hill, Bibb, Burke, Carrollton, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Dade, DeKalb, Dougherty, Gainesville, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Meriwether, Muscogee, Peach, Pulaski, Rabun, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Treutlen, Valdosta and White.


One of the exciting developments around the new evaluation systems is that a number of additional school districts and individual schools have agreed to participate.  Currently, there are twenty-four additional school districts that have elected to pilot or study the systems during 2012-13.  In addition, twenty middle and high schools will be fully implementing TKES (Teacher Keys Evaluation System) and LKES (Leader Keys Evaluation System) during 2012-13.  These numbers may change based upon addition of more districts and schools.

Districts and State Continue work on Student Learning Objectives

Puzzle Pieces

Learning expectations describe how students will grow in their learning of the selected content over the instructional interval, as determined by the pre-assessment(s) and post-assessment(s).  The expected growth for students must reflect the learning that would occur over the entire duration of the course.  Through Georgia's Race to the Top program, Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) will be used to assess students' growth in non-tested courses and will contribute performance data to the calculation of the teacher evaluation measure (TEM) of those courses.  Once all SLOs are phased in, the teachers of non-tested subjects will be evaluated by the district determined SLO for each non-tested course.


Through collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE), Race to the Top (RT3) partner school districts have created fifty-two course specific SLOs for the non-tested subjects.These districts are working on customizing and submitting the SLOs to GADOE for final review and approval.Upon state approval, the SLOs will be available for the RT3 districts and the additional pilot school districts and schools for the 2012-13 school year.


Teachers of tested subjects will be evaluated by the student growth percentile measure for their tested courses.The tested courses are reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies, as tested in grades 4th - 8th by the CRCT, and courses tested by the high school End of Course Tests (biology, physical science, 9th grade literature/composition, 11th grade literature/composition, US History, economics/business/free enterprise, Math I, Math II, GPS Algebra, GPS Geometry.)

Rolling Out the Teacher-Leader Effectiveness Electronic Platform

by Martha Ann ToddProfessional Development
In mid-July during the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System Training of the Trainers conference for Race to the Top Districts, the Georgia Department of Education, Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Division unveiled the GaDOE TKES-LKES Electronic Platform.


This new, custom platform, supported by True North Logic, will assist educators across 63 districts currently involved in implementing and piloting the new teacher and leader effectiveness systems. This system does more than just allow evaluation entry and supporting document housing; it provides written and video professional learning resources, supports student learning objectives goals and entries, and will interface with the Longitudinal Data System to upload student growth percentiles.


The TKES-LKES platform will serve as a key tool in a multi-dimensional, collaborative and self-reflective evaluation process that will build capacity in classrooms, schools and districts, leading to highly effective teachers and leaders for every Georgia student.

Martha Ann Todd serves as the Associate Superintendent for Teacher and Leader Effectiveness @ the Georgia Department of Education.

Teacher Keys: Training the Trainers Conference

Teacher Collaboration by Kathie Wood


The GaDOE training of trainers session on the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) was held on July 16-20 at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah, Georgia.  

During these five days district representatives from our 26 partnering districts and DOE field team members, received training on the following topics:

- TKES Overview and Introduction
- TAPS (formative and summative including surveys)
- Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs)
- Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)
- TKES Procedures
- Electronic Platform Introduction, Overview and Resources
- Evaluator Certification

The introduction to the Electronic Platform was an exciting new component of this training.  Districts were able to experience the extensive support that this platform will provide.


On Thursday, all participants sat for the Evaluator Credentialing Test. This certification process will help to insure that our evaluation system is implemented with consistency and fidelity across the state.

The Race to the Top staff would like to thank all of the participants for their focused dedication and collaboration throughout the week.


Kathie Wood serves as the Evaluation System Specialist for Implementation of Race to the Top.  Prior to joining the RT3 team, she spent sixteen years teaching.  Her experiences include teaching Language Arts and Reading at Marietta Middle School from 1989 - 1996 and again from 2002 - 2010.   In 2009, Kathie was a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year.

In This Issue
State Board Approves RT3 Items
Increased Participation in Teacher & Leader Keys
Student Learning Objectives
TLE Electronic Platform
Training the Trainers Event


Georgia Educators Begin Teaching Common Core Georgia Performance Standards This School Year


Georgia wants to tweak rules for teacher evaluation system


Georgia teachers get new evaluation system 


Twilight shines brightly in Savannah 



UGA College of Education's Race to the Top projects could have national implications



District-Level Race to the Top to Focus on the Classroom, Provide Tools to Enhance Learning and Serve the Needs of Every Student