Georgia makes grade in overall education; school leaders want to see more improvement

By: Trishna Begam Email
By: Trishna Begam Email

News 12 at This Morning / Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Would you be happy with a 79.7, barely a B- on a report card? Well, that's the grade Georgia schools received in a report from Education Week.

"We are extremely pleased to have Georgia ranking seventh in the nation. That's a huge accomplishment," said Sandra Carraway, the chief deputy superintendent for Columbia County schools.

Carraway says there is still room for improvement, though. The full report from Education Week shows mostly A's and B's.

Not a single state made an A overall on this grade report, which used criteria like chances of success and school finances to determine how well states we performing.

"Our biggest goal is to maximize the instructional time we have," Carraway said.

Another big hurdle to cross is revamping the entire curriculum with the Common Core State Standards -- something classrooms across America will be tackling.

Columbia County says they are ahead of the curve with a strong curriculum, which they believe contributed to the state's rank.

"The math program for the past five years, we've just done a overhaul of math course work," Carraway explained. "Learning with more real world based questions, you aren't just working problems but solving real world matters."

The numbers in the report shed light on a country struggling to provide opportunities to succeed and many states lagging behind. The U.S. as a whole receives a C+ on the index.

"We haven't seen those affects of the budget cuts as of yet because they really just happened in these past two or three years," Carraway added.

That could mean grades getting worse for the country, but in Columbia County they say they are hoping to beat the odds as class sizes grow and budgets get tighter through a stronger curriculum.

South Carolina ranked No. 24 in the report. Maryland led the way with the No. 1 ranking, scoring an 87.8.

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