For Immediate Release September 15, 2017
Could take state back to days of toxic-testing
ATLANTA – “We are not in favor of the changes requested by Gov. Deal that remove certain aspects of Georgia’s current ESSA [Every Student Succeeds Act] plan,” said Dr. Sid Chapman, president of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). Chapman is commenting on a recent letter from Woods to Gov. Deal regarding his concerns over requests to make certain changes in Georgia’s ESSA plan.
“GAE has been fighting what we call ‘toxic testing’ for many years," he said. "What Gov. Deal is asking could take us back to the days of over-use and over-emphasis of high-stakes standardized testing that had become ‘toxic' to our students. The open input period from which Georgia citizens, including thousands of teachers, commented and participated in feedback sessions and online surveys, clearly indicated they wanted to move on from that requirement. Georgia’s plan is truly one put together by Georgians, for Georgians, and it should maintain the integrity of that originality of thought. The plan meets specific needs that our schools need to maximize the opportunities for positive growth and achievement among our students.“
Chapman points to aspects such as removing key indicators for student attendance; the inclusion of a well-rounded education that includes the arts and physical education; career, technical and agricultural education and world languages; and AP and IB as a step backwards in how we want our children to be educated. “Georgia is beginning to make positive strides as shown by our recent ACT scores. We neither want to slow, stop nor reverse this momentum at this point,” he said.