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The Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) declared that 74 out of 243 schools have exited the Priority and Focus Schools lists.

As a component of Georgia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver, which grants flexibility from some requirements of No Child Left Behind, the GaDOE is required to identify Priority and Focus Schools.


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What are Priority and Focus Schools? 

Priority Schools represent the lowest-performing 5% of Title I schools based on achievement data, plus schools that have a graduation rate below 60% for two consecutive years.

Focus Schools represent the lowest-performing 10% of Title I schools based on achievement gap data. That data examines the gap between a school’s lowest performing 25% of students and the state average and the extent to which that gap is closing.


“Every school that made the necessary improvements to exit Priority or Focus School status deserves to be commended,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The ongoing work of these schools, coupled with supports from GaDOE staff and RESAs, continues to move the needle and prove that underperforming schools can improve, even when they face difficult odds.”

This information proceeds a touchy discussion between Governor Nathan Deal and the elected State School Superintendent Richard Woods about how low-performing schools have not allegedly improved under Superintendent Woods’ tenure. Also, Governor Nathan Deal, earlier this year, tasked the GA General Assembly to create legislation to help improve low-performing schools which passed both chambers and is expected to be signed into law in May.

According to the GADOE press release, The GADOE will no longer be classifying schools into Priority or Focus categories with the start of the new changes ESEA law in 2015; the law takes effect in 2018. The GADOE “will be required to identify and support Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools. The criteria for CSI and TSI schools are currently being developed in consultation with Georgia’s ESSA working committees. A draft of the criteria will be available for public comment this summer, prior to Georgia’s submission of its ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education in September.”

Below is a list of Priory and Focus Schools who have made improvements to exit the list released by the GADOE:

System Name School name Exit List
Atlanta Public Schools Benteen Elementary School Exit Focus
Atlanta Public Schools Brown Middle School Exit Focus
Atlanta Public Schools Cleveland Elementary School Exit Focus
Atlanta Public Schools Dobbs Elementary School Exit Focus
Atlanta Public Schools Fickett Elementary School Exit Focus
Atlanta Public Schools Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. High School Exit Priority
Atlanta Public Schools Parkside Elementary School Exit Focus
Atlanta Public Schools South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Science Exit Priority
Atlanta Public Schools The John Hope-Charles Walter Hill Elementary Schools Exit Focus
Barrow County Kennedy Elementary School Exit Focus
Carroll County Bowdon Middle School Exit Focus
Chatham County Windsor Forest Elementary School Exit Focus
Cherokee County Canton Elementary Exit Focus
Cherokee County William G. Hasty, Sr. Elementary School Exit Focus
Cobb County Birney Elementary School Exit Focus
Cobb County Milford Elementary School Exit Focus
Cobb County Osborne High School Exit Priority
Colquitt County Odom Elementary School Exit Focus
Colquitt County Okapilco Elementary School Exit Focus
Colquitt County Sunset Elementary School Exit Focus
Coweta County Eastside Elementary School Exit Focus
DeKalb County Allgood Elementary School Exit Focus
DeKalb County Bob Mathis Elementary School Exit Focus
DeKalb County Columbia Middle School Exit Focus
DeKalb County Kelley Lake Elementary School Exit Focus
DeKalb County Redan High School Exit Priority
Dodge County Dodge County Middle School Exit Focus
Dougherty County Radium Springs Elementary School Exit Focus
Dublin City Moore Street School Exit Priority
Fulton County Asa Hilliard Elementary School Exit Focus
Fulton County Gullatt Elementary School Exit Focus
Fulton County High Point Elementary School Exit Focus
Fulton County Jackson Elementary School Exit Focus
Fulton County Lake Forest Elementary Exit Focus
Gainesville City Centennial Arts Academy Exit Focus
Greene County Greene County High School Exit Priority
Greene County Greensboro Elementary Exit Focus
Gwinnett County Berkmar High School Exit Priority
Gwinnett County Meadowcreek High School Exit Priority
Gwinnett County Rockbridge Elementary School Exit Focus
Hall County Lyman Hall Elementary School Exit Focus
Hall County White Sulphur Elementary School Exit Focus
Hancock County Hancock Central Middle School Exit Focus
Houston County Miller Elementary School Exit Focus
Jasper County Washington Park Elementary School Exit Focus
Jeff Davis County Jeff Davis Elementary School Exit Focus
Jefferson County Louisville Academy Exit Focus
Johnson County Johnson County High School Exit Priority
Jones County Mattie Wells Elementary School Exit Focus
Lanier County Lanier County Elementary School Exit Focus
Macon County Macon County Middle School Exit Focus
Marietta City Marietta High School Exit Focus
Meriwether County Greenville Middle – High School Exit Priority
Mitchell County North Mitchell County Elementary School Exit Focus
Montgomery County Montgomery County Elementary School Exit Focus
Montgomery County Montgomery County Middle School Exit Focus
Muscogee County Jordan Vocational High School Exit Priority
Muscogee County Rigdon Road Elementary School Exit Focus
Newton County Flint Hill Elementary Exit Focus
Pelham City Pelham Elementary School Exit Focus
Polk County Westside Elementary School Exit Focus
Randolph County Randolph County Elementary School Exit Focus
Richmond County Bayvale Elementary School Exit Focus
Richmond County Copeland Elementary School Exit Focus
Rockdale County Sims Elementary School Exit Focus
Taliaferro County Taliaferro County School Exit Priority
Thomaston-Upson County Upson-Lee High School Exit Focus
Tift County Annie Belle Clark Primary School Exit Focus
Vidalia City J. R. Trippe Middle School Exit Focus
Walker County Rossville Elementary School Exit Focus
Wayne County Bacon Elementary School Exit Focus
Whitfield County Beaverdale Elementary School Exit Focus
Wilcox County Wilcox County High School Exit Priority
Wilkinson County Wilkinson County Elementary School Exit Focus
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Profile photo of Jeremy Spencer

Jeremy Spencer is currently the market manager for All on Georgia-Camden County as of late December 2016. Jeremy’s focus will be local news, statewide education issues, and political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as a policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns.

Jeremy grew up in rural Southern Georgia and he has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, and a state education official.  Jeremy holds degrees from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. He and his wife have lived in Camden County for 16 years and they have two teenage children. Jeremy and his family attend Christ Church Camden in Kingsland, GA.

camden@allongeorgia.com

 

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