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State Department of Education to host Every Student Succeeds Act meeting
Public can learn about replacement for No Child Left Behind
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Area residents can learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act and offer comments to the state Department of Education at a public meeting between 6-8 p.m. Monday.

The DOE will host the meeting, one of eight scheduled around the state between now and Oct. 17, at the Student Commons Building at Piedmont College in Demorest.

ESSA is the replacement for the federal No Child Left Behind law. It was passed in the spring and the state must develop its plan to respond to the new law.

A release from the state DOE said the new federal law requires states to develop plans that address standards/assessments, school and district accountability, and special help for struggling schools and students.

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods will welcome those attending the meeting Monday and an introduction to ESSA will be provided. Participants will choose specific topics to discuss in working groups.

The state release said the law “replaces the top-down federal approach required by NCLB.”

Wanda Creel, the Gainesville school superintendent, is one of 21 people listed on the “federal programs to support school improvement committee” for ESSA. She said she will be a facilitator at the Monday meeting.

According to the DOE website, the state ESSA plan is to be submitted to federal officials in March 2017 and the draft plan will be presented in December.

“The devil is in the details regarding how this new legislation will be implemented,” Will Schofield, Hall County superintendent, said.

“Federal implementation guidelines, along with our state plan will dictate how the new legislation plays out for local systems. We will participate in the regional meetings, and will continue to lobby for interpretations which allow local systems to have maximum autonomy in providing educational services.

“For all those invested in the future of Georgia’s education system — and those interested in a more holistic approach for students — whether you’re a parent, a student, an educator or a community member, I strongly encourage you to offer your feedback as we develop our ESSA state plan,” said Richard Woods, Georgia state school superintendent.

“If you can, please attend a meeting — you’ll invest two hours of your time in exchange for many years of education policy,” he said.

More information about ESSA can be found at

For those unable to attend an in-person meeting, a survey opportunity will soon be announced and posted at Feedback can also be emailed to  

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