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Class Notes: Federal progress report mostly positive on Georgias Race to the Top status
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While backlash against the Common Core continues among political groups in Georgia, it appears the state is doing well in implementing the set of standards.

The United States Department of Education released its annual progress report on states participating in the Race to the Top initiative Thursday, with Georgia’s report listing “several key accomplishments,” including the launch of the Innovation in Teaching competition, new teacher assessments and the promotion of courses in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report,” said Susan Andrews, the Georgia Department of Education’s deputy superintendent of Race to the Top implementation, in a news release.

“We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state.”

Some challenges the federal department noted was Georgia’s delay in implementation of new teacher and leader evaluation systems, as well as the state’s withdrawal from an assessment consortium that is in the process of developing new testing to adhere to Common Core standards. Georgia plans to develops its own tests.

Georgia’s Race to the Top grant, at nearly $400 million, is part of the federal competitive program designed to reward states for establishing gains in education.

The performance reports for Georgia and the other states under Race to the Top can be found online at

Nichols blazes trail at Lanier Tech

Dana Nichols, former dean of academic affairs with Lanier Technical College, is the college’s first associate vice president of academic affairs.

“I am thrilled to serve the college in this capacity,” Nichols said in a news release. “I look forward to expanding dual and joint enrollment opportunities for our students.”

In her new role, Nichols is responsible for providing oversight to the curriculum, libraries, distance education and dual and joint enrollment across Lanier Tech’s five campuses.

“This new position was developed to provide academic leadership across all five of Lanier Tech’s campus locations,” said Tavarez Holston, vice president of academic affairs. “Dr. Nichols is an exceptional collaborator who will excel in engaging our college community and community partners.”

Carly Sharec covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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