New Georgia School Superintendent: Audit of State Education Dept., Less Testing

| November 7, 2014
Athens Banner-Herald Photo

Athens Banner-Herald Photo

ATLANTA — Newly-elected Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods wants to see changes in the state agency.  He plans to implement simpler teacher evaluations and student achievement testing.

In an interview with the Athens Banner-Hearld, Woods was clear about his plans.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that we should reduce some paperwork and data collecting,” said Woods, the Republican who defeated Democratic candidate Valarie Wilson on Tuesday with 55% of the vote.

Woods noted in the interview that teachers and administrators are “spending a lot of time filling out forms and inputting data.”  He noted he thought this has reached the “far extreme” to “over-standardize accountability procedures.”

Woods has never held public office.

With testing counting as much as half of teachers’ scores and up to 70% of administrators’ scores under the current mandate, Woods states that’s just too much.

“For a test to count that much, that’s quite a bit, and I look at — ‘What information are we getting from the test?’” Woods said to the Athens Banner-Herald. “We have to look at that.”

Woods also stated in the interview he wanted an audit of the state department, reviewing money flow, policies, managerial effectiveness and efficiency, or the lack thereof.  He also stated a need to remove unfunded mandates on local systems created by the state.

“I want to make sure all jobs are having a direct impact on student learning,” he said.

Woods also noted that the state should create more routes to graduation, including more vocation-related paths.


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