GaDOE and GPEE to Host Solutions Summit to Address Chronically Underperforming Schools

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education will co-host a Solutions Summit to address the challenges faced by chronically underperforming schools, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced.

The summit will bring together stakeholders from all invested groups – members of the education, business, policymakers and faith communities, as well as families – to have candid conversations about the issues these schools face and develop a shared framework for improvement.

“There is no simple, one-step solution for every school that’s struggling to improve student achievement,” Superintendent Woods said. “We must look at a holistic approach to educating students in underperforming schools, and that must include the communities. More than identifying just the problems, we must develop real, actionable solutions that engage stakeholders around the common challenges facing these schools.”

Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, reinforced Woods’ comments.  “The summit presents a unique opportunity to do more than talk about problems many of our schools face. We must move past talking to action,” he stressed. “Key education, business, community and government leaders will have the chance to leverage their collective will to make a collective impact.”

The summit will include an overview of state, regional, and national efforts to support chronically underperforming schools, along with panel discussions on the opportunities and challenges facing districts, communities, and state agencies as they work to provide that support. Partners from GaDOE and GPEE will present a deep dive into the data of chronically underperforming schools, examining and discussing student achievement, school climate, demographics, turnover rates, discipline rates, attendance, and other related community data.

These discussions will be followed by a time for candid conversations and brainstorming, and an opportunity for attendees to commit to an action framework to support underperforming schools.

The summit will be co-chaired by Dr. Mary Sue Murray, a retired State Board of Education member with more than 30 years of education experience, and Stephanie Johnson, principal of Maynard Jackson High School and a 2017 National Principal of the Year finalist.