Tuesday October 13th, 2015 9:38AM

Ga. superintendent worried about teacher plan

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA - Georgia Schools Superintendent John Barge is telling federal education officials that he will not implement a teacher evaluation system that might not work and could lead to lawsuits.

Barge wrote a letter to federal officials Friday saying attorneys for Georgia schools have warned that including student input into teacher evaluations is legally risky.

``I will not waste taxpayer dollars to defend a system that we have been warned will not work,'' he wrote.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia's pledge to implement a new teacher evaluation system that included student surveys was one reason it won a $400 million federal grant through the Race to the Top program. Tinkering with its plans got $33 million of the grant placed on ``high risk'' status by the U.S. Department of Education.

Barge said the grant application was written by a different administration and was Georgia's best estimate of how the state could achieve the goals in the application. Georgia officials now believe the surveys, particularly from younger students, should not be used as an official part of the evaluation system and should be only informational.

Deputy Superintendent Teresa McCartney said the state is worried about teachers suing if they are denied a raise or face sanction because of student surveys, which in the initial plan accounted for 10 percent of a teacher's evaluation.

Liz Utrup, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Education, said it has created an amendment process to help states work through problems that arise.

Georgia has until Aug. 1 to lay out how it plans to alter its evaluation system.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
'Extreme delays' expected most of week on downtown Gainesville street
Road work is planned again this week on a busy downtown Gainesville thoroughfare.
8:27AM ( 1 hour ago )
Oakwood approves rezoning for new townhomes near JHS
Oakwood City Council voted unanimously to rezone a 12.76-acre tract of land on Poplar Springs Road to allow a townhome community to be built
6:00AM ( 3 hours ago )
Banks County pallet mill destroyed by fire
It took firefighters about five and one-half hours to bring a fire at a Banks County industry under control overnight.
4:13AM ( 5 hours ago )
Lula bridge closed because 'structure has failed again'
The wooden overpass over the Norfolk Southern Railroad on Cobb Street in Lula is closed again.
10:10PM ( 11 hours ago )
Judge sets trial date in hot-SUV death case for February
A judge ruled on Monday that she won't try charges that a Georgia man accused in his son's death had inappropriate online exchanges with an underage girl separately from murder charges against him.
4:39PM ( 16 hours ago )