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State Board of Education Meeting Report - November Meeting 2023

The State Board of Education (SBOE) met Nov. 1 and 2 and approved a revised state literacy metric as well as other rules. Board members also heard presentations on the Georgia Match program, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) fine arts division’s recent recognition, and school resource officer (SRO) training.

The full agenda, available HERE, includes links to all items considered by the board.  

Literacy Metric Debate

In Wednesday’s Rules Committee meeting, the board engaged in extended debate about Georgia’s literacy metric. HB 538, the Georgia Early Literacy Act which passed during the 2023 legislative session, requires the SBOE to implement uniform grade-appropriate metrics for measuring literacy. Public comment in support of moving the metric from the current Lexile stretch band of 520-820 to a more rigorous 670 Lexile midpoint was provided by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) and Scott Johnson, chair of the Georgia Council on Literacy. A more rigorous metric would mean more Georgia third graders would be identified as not reading on grade level. For 2022, the more rigorous midpoint metric would have identified an additional 24,000 students as not reading on grade level. 

Leaders from Fulton County and Marietta City school districts also shared their perspectives. GaDOE Chief of Staff Matt Jones provided information from MetaMetrics, creators of the Lexile stretch band, about why Georgia uses the stretch band to assess reading readiness.

Stakeholders from GOSA, the Georgia Council on Literacy, GaDOE, and the SBOE met after committee work concluded Wednesday and compromised on a revised stretch band metric which the board approved the following day. The revised metric retains the stretch band but identifies students scoring below the 670 midpoint as needing additional supports guided by screening results, formative assessment results, and classwork.  

K-3 Literacy Resources

The SBOE also approved providers and materials to be included on a list of K-3 reading instructional materials, as required by HB 538. These include:

  • Amplify: Core Knowledge Language Arts

  • Benchmark Advance

  • Benchmark Workshop

  • Bookworms: K-5 Reading and Writing

  • Collaborative Classroom: Being a Reader

  • EL Education: K-5 Reading and Writing

  • HMH: Into Reading

  • Savvas: My View 

Assessment and Other Rules Progress

Via authorization of Rule 160-3-1-.07 Testing Programs – Student Assessment, the SBOE authorized State School Superintendent Woods to initiate rulemaking in accordance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act. The rule is now open for public comment which can be submitted HERE.

The board also moved forward the following rules:

Public comment on the proposed Biomanufacturing Pathway Standards and Elementary School CTAE Clusters can be submitted HERE.

Superintendent’s Report

Lynn Riley, president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, provided an update on Georgia Match, a new program which automatically notifies Georgia high school students that they are academically eligible to enroll in state colleges, universities, and technical programs. Riley reported that Gov. Brian Kemp initiated Georgia Match to grow the state workforce pipeline. To date, 110,000 letters have gone out to the class of 2024. 

Superintendent Woods recognized Jessica Booth and the fine arts department at GaDOE for their recent award from the Woodruff Arts Center. Danielle Rosa from the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) presented information on Georgia school resource officer (SRO) training and the collaborative relationship

2024 GaDOE Legislative Priorities

Shortly after the board meeting adjourned, Superintendent Woods and 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year Christy Todd announced GaDOE’s 2024 legislative initiatives including educator pay raises, a longevity step on the teacher salary schedule, a support staff compensation study, pupil transportation funding, property tax relief, and a school poverty funding weight. On November 6, the department released a detailed legislative priority list. Multiple GaDOE priorities overlap with PAGE 2024 legislative priorities, which will be published for member comment later this month. between school administrators and SROs. 

December SBOE Meeting

The next board meeting will be held Dec. 6 and 7 in Atlanta.


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