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Georgia formally submits No Child Left Behind waiver
New index to look at schools performance outside of testing
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The i's have been dotted and the t's crossed. Revisions have been made.

Georgia's formal No Child Left Behind waiver has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.
And now the waiting game begins.

Georgia presented its proposed replacement to the 2001 No Child Left Behind legislation, the College and Career Ready Performance Index, to the department on Sept. 20 in a letter requesting a waiver.

"Through (the index), we will be able to use multiple indicators to determine a school's overall impact on our students," State Schools Superintendent John Barge said in a news release from the Georgia Department of Education. "This approach will do more to ensure that the K-12 experience provides students with the academic preparation to compete globally, as well as the career development skills aligned with the evolving requirements of our workforce."

The index will measure the extent to which a school is making progress on a list of specific criteria, according to a Sept. 20 letter from the Georgia Department of Education to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The criteria will determine a school's score on achievement, progress and closing the achievement gap.

No Child Left Behind was designed to ensure all children, especially ethnic and economic minorities, received quality education. Schools were evaluated annually with an Adequate Yearly Progress model that looked at attendance, graduation rates and standardized test scores.

The index, however, is like a report card for schools. But instead of math, English and science, schools are graded on an assortment of criteria: test scores, attendance, graduation rate, and career and college preparation.

For the 2011 school year, the state is requesting "stay put" permission relative to the 2011 AYP determinations, released earlier this month, the news release states. The index calculations will be given to Georgia schools and systems to establish a baseline for the following school year.

Georgia's index comes on the heels of two different pieces of state regulation, House Bill 400 and House Bill 186, which establish more career exploration and education throughout middle and high school grades.

Jamey Moore, director of curriculum and instruction for Gainesville City Schools, said he's a fan of the new index.

"The majority of the items on it are things we're already tracking, already longitudinally aware of, and not a big change as far as our awareness of what's going on in schools. What it does do is change what we get measured on. It's more of a balanced assessment approach," Moore said in September. "In the past they just looked at the achievement data. They've broadened from the achievement data to multiple other items that sort of give the bigger picture of how we're doing."