The next section of questions are about School System Operating Models.
By June 30, 2015, all school districts in Georgia are required by law to select one of three operating structures.
Status Quo – Formal acceptance that the district will continue to follow all Title 20 education laws, including the state accountability system.
Investing in Educational Excellence (IE2) – Districts enter into an agreement with the State Board of Education and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. The agreement provides specific waivers in exchange for increased accountability requirements with penalties in place if schools do not meet targets. Penalties can include the district losing control over individual schools. There are three IE2 systems in the state, including Gwinnett, the largest district in the state.
Charter System – Districts execute a 5-year charter contract with the State Board of Education to receive a blanket waiver of nearly all Title 20 education laws. These waivers give districts the flexibility to implement innovative strategies in order to meet increased accountability requirements. Currently there are 16 charter systems in Georgia, with many additional systems moving forward with developing charter petitions.
Examples of the types of flexibility that can be accessed as an IE2 or Charter System district include:
Customizing a school’s offerings (new arts program, language instruction, etc.)
Course credit through content mastery (non-EOCT)
Waiving class size to allow for college-style delivery
Hiring content experts for teachers
Seat-time requirements to adjust pacing of content/material
Non-traditional ELL or Gifted programs
Early Release for additional Professional Development
Waiver of seat-time requirements to let students explore internships, dual enrollment, etc.