News from the State DOE

Georgia’s Future. Now! 

is a package of initiatives that has withstood the scrutiny of teachers, principals and research.  It features high standards, evaluation and accountability measures focused on improvement, and career pathways to inspire students based on their personal interests and aligned with business needs.

What is “Georgia FIP: The Keys to Student Success? 

DOE SealThe Georgia Department of Education’s Assessment and Accountability Division has launched an online professional learning opportunity dealing with Formative Instructional Practices (FIP).

Georgia FIP: The Keys to Student Success is designed to enhance educators’ use of formative instructional practices and is aligned to the new teacher and leader effectiveness systems.  The course content is based on the work of Rick Stiggins, Jan Chappius, and others.  Research has shown consistently that effective use of formative assessment leads to significant increases in student achievement, even with learners who have previously struggled.

Georgia FIP consists of seven online modules. The primary target audience for five of the modules is teachers, while the other two are designed for administrators, coaches and teacher-leaders.  Georgia FIP has four major content components:  (1) Establishing Clear Learning Targets, (2) Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning, (3) Providing Effective Feedback, and (4) Developing Student Ownership of Learning.

GADOE’s Assessment and Accountability Division provided additional information, support, and guidance through informational webinars, which were held on Monday, June 24th and Wednesday, June 26th.  You may view a recording of the webinar by click on the link below.
Introduction and Overview on Georgia FIP: The Keys to Student Success

More information about this initiative, including implementation resources, can be found on the following webpage: Georgia FIP: The Keys to Student Success

Through funding provided by Georgia’s Race to the Top initiative and in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education, new self-paced professional development courses are available for teachers who will be teaching English Language Arts and Mathematics according to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS).

The Georgia Department of Education has developed two flexible, ready-to-use online courses to support Georgia educators in the understanding and effective implementation of the Common Core GPS state standards.  The courses may be used by individual educators, professional learning communities, or by districts or schools.

The ELA and Literacy online course includes modules covering: Standards Foundations, Literacy in Practice, Literacy Across Subjects, a ELA CCGPS Self-Check, and Course Survey.  The Math online course includes modules covering: Standards Foundation, Mathematics, Additional Information, Math CCGPS Self-Check, and Course Survey.

Each course contains hands-on activities, related readings and research, recommended topics for discussion, web and video resources, and self-assessments.  The time required for the courses may be customized for a variety of applications by expanding the amount of time spent on the activities and in discussion.

The content of the courses was developed under a grant from the U. S. Department of Education. However, the content does not necessarily represent the policy of the U. S. Department of Education, and endorsement by the Federal Government should not be assumed.

Common Core Georgia Performance Standards: Professional Development Available!

Laying the Foundation for Career Pathways

Dept. of Education Develops Courses for Career Clusters/Pathways

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has developed the foundational courses for its Career Clusters/Pathways, a new high school model that will begin with this fall’s freshman class.

Career Clusters_Pathways

The courses are part of a law passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 2011, authorizing Georgia to follow the Career Clusters Framework.  Under the new model, students – with the help of parents, teachers and guidance counselors – choose a pathway in one of 17 Career Clusters, or in the areas of Advanced Academics, Fine Arts and World Languages.

Students select their pathway based on what they want to do after graduation and take a core set of classes coupled with electives based on their chosen field.  They have the freedom to switch pathways or clusters if they discover a particular area is not their passion.  Students can choose pathways that lead to two-year or four-year colleges, technical colleges or directly into careers.

“Too many students drop out of school because they can’t make the connection between what they’re doing in class and what they want to do after graduation. We have to make high school relevant for students,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “Our new Career Pathways will keep students engaged and on the road to graduation.”

Joseph Harrison, a Culinary Arts student at The Newton College and Career Academy, thought about dropping out of high school until he found his passion.  “Attending The Newton College and Career Academy this year was an eye opening experience for me,” said Harrison. “Prior to attending NCCA, I had a very dim outlook on the world of academia.  School seemed somewhat pointless to me and I had no drive or goals.  I found my passion when I was given the opportunity to work with my hands and truly exploit my talents.  I found something I truly love to do and am utterly excited for the future now that I have discovered this passion.”

Sample graduation plans for each pathway have been posted on the department’s website so that students and parents can see what options are available in Georgia’s high schools. To view those graduation plans, click HERE

The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the U. S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U. S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
Join the movement and subscribe to the newsletter at Georgia’s Future. Now!

About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
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5 Responses to News from the State DOE

  1. Another comment says:

    I just looked at the career clusters and they are an absolute joke. They will not benefit any students, nor prepare students for trades. They are basically the current standards for graduation, with every level including freshman and Sopohmore year classes saying dual enrollment is an acceptable substitution. If that is not a typo in a year my 9th grader will be doing dual enrollment and getting her BS and High school diploma at the same time. My bet it is a typo.

    I have a Bachelors in Architecture, and a Masters in Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering and Management) I have a Professional Registration in Interior Design. I supervised Blue collar and White collar employees in the construction industry and in the A&E field. I Also Taught at a Major Engineering School 4th year Engineering students. I have done a lot of hiring of all of these type of employees. I am an expert witness in this field in Federal court. So I thought I would just look at the Architecture and Construction Pathways.

    First, their are no Architectural Draftsman anymore. it is an extinct trade. Just as the Secretarial Pool from the 50’s has gone extinct. All drawings are now done on CAD. I haven’t hired an Architect who graduated after the mid 90’s who didn’t design and draw themselves on CAD. Only those of us who graduated from Architecture school in Pre- Autocad days still design on paper then draw it up on CAD. Architectural Firms use their interns right out of college, doing the 3 years before they can even take the Register architect exam servitude at low wages to draw the base buildings. ( Not some one with an Assoc. Degree for $49k) Why you can get some one with a B of arch or even an M of Arch that is willing to work for much less for a 3 year legal internship. Then the big firms lay them off and start with the next crop of fools. There Should be a blue print reading course for all in this series whether they want to be white collar or blue collar. That is the biggest problem on both ends engineers and architects who don’t understand what the line means they drew, and field guys who can’t read it for how to build it. Their should be an Autocad series of classes just like their use to be mechanical drawing classes. Their need to be actual 1/2 day trade classes or the dual enrollment needs to be increased so students can go and take HVAC classes etc. at Gwinnett tech etc. for example. Georgia needs to look at the dual tracks in New York State, at the Votech schools in every school district.

  2. Just Sayinh says:

    For any “new program’ to work certain things must occur. There needs to be an opportunity for people to learn and understand it. Information must be shared with everyone. As we learn it, we need to have willing and helpful people support the learning. In education you need to be able to attract and retain quality people. Even though I went to college and graduate school, I remember some valuable advice I was given in high school. At some point in my life, I was going to have to be able to apply the knowledge that I was learning to a real life job. I do believe it is important to prepare all of our students for different forms of higher education and also employment.

    In DeKalb we move from one “new plan” to the next. When educators are not given time to master information, it is difficult to pass it on effectively. Veteran staff members continue to leave as fast as they can. The “Human” has been taken out of our “Human Resource Department.” If you work in the DeKalb, that is the last place you want to turn for help. Schools are having to try and rebuild and recruit entire departments.

    I realize that it is summer and many people travel and relax. There are not as many comments on the blog. In my opinion, I believe that part of the issues is that people have given up and left the county. This is something that many of us struggle with each day. Teachers and staff ended the school year without knowing their yearly salary. Granted certified staff members were provided with a daily amount. We just were not given thee number of days. Classified staff were not even given a daily salary.

    I have attended Professional Learning Classes this summer. Some of them have been very helpful and well done. I just hope that we will be given a chance to practice the things that we have learned, before we are presented with another new program. by another new consultant. ( In the past few years, we must have provided a great deal of money for consultants from the state of North Carolina. )

    I am sorry back to summer training sessions. When we have breaks and we talk to each other, the conversation goes to how many people have left. This kind of movement is usually blamed on the principal. Well the school system won’t be able to do that this year. The reason is that we have had so many principals that have left for a job in other places.

    What is this new year going to look like for our schools? If people in the schools are going to be ready to implement new or old programs, the resources and support must be there. Since my family and I will be out of town the last week of July, I stopped by my school this week to do some work in my classroom. I talked to our book keeper about some supplies I needed. I was planning to return next week. My book keeper, who is a wonderful lady could not promise that the supplies would be there next week. Even though we are in a new budget year, schools are still not allowed to use the state issued P Card. If you need to buy paper or any supplies, you must complete a paper requisition. Then you must send it to your Region Superintendent. It must be approved. Then it is sent to someone else for the supplies to actually be ordered. This can take about weeks. With the P Card, you are able to purchase supplies the same day.

    So we as educators are being asked to move our students into future, but we are not trusted to use the P Card to buy paper, folders, ink and pencils. Yes, DeKalb we are off to a great start.

    Sorry that I got off track. Bless you and say a prayer for us.

  3. bettyandveronica1 says:

    This is all well and good but it still leaves so much up to the local school system. Without any money to fund across all school systems. Virtual learning is fine but are the ramping up the computer labs ?

  4. Dr. DeKalb says:

    Don’t they have a warehouse of supplies you can order from / access? Things like paper sound pretty universal in terms of need. One would hope this would be already planned for.

  5. Applications open for 2014 Steve Harvey Disney Dreamers Academy
    Plans are under way for the 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence magazine. U.S. high school students ages 13-19 can apply to attend this innovative outside-the-classroom educational and mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort. Applications are now open and must be submitted by Oct. 31 on

    Each year, 100 students selected from thousands of applicants participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques and networking strategies. It all takes place in a magical setting: the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Both on stage and behind the scenes, the parks become vibrant classrooms,leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

    Motivational speakers and celebrities share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and world-renowned entrepreneurs and executives.

    “Over the past six years, we have helped 600 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life,” said Disney Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. “The seventh Disney Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and Essence Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life.”

    Participants and a parent or guardian will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., where they will engage in life-changing sessions and enjoy Disney¹s magical theme parks. The 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy will take place March 6 – 9.
    “Disney Dreamers Academy gives hope and inspiration and exposes youth to a world of possibilities,” says Harvey. “We are excited about another opportunity to transform lives and give students an inside look at what their future can hold.”

    This December, a distinguished panel of leaders from the communications, education and entertainment industries will judge the applications. Winners will be announced in early 2014.

    For more information visit

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