2014 was another busy year for the Georgia Partnership. More importantly, it was another productive year. As we prepare for the new challenges and responsibilities that await in 2015, we would like to take a moment and share some of our work from the past year. As always, what we accomplish is the result of more than our own efforts. We have an invaluable group of supporters from our Board and Council members to many others who have joined our work in some capacity. To all of you, a heartfelt thanks from all of us at the Georgia Partnership.
Our new year always starts on the run and 2014 was no different. Our 8th Annual Media Symposium held at Georgia Public Broadcasting ushered in the new year and set the tone for what was ahead. More than 35 education reporters/editors attended the unique day-long event that brought a variety of subject matter experts together to dissect topics suggested by the reporters themselves. Our day ended with legislative leaders who provided an inside look at the key education issues ahead. Media Symposium
Effectively telling our story is something we take pride in. The Saporta Report with a business audience has run a series of our articles on Georgia’s education reform puzzle. We were honored with five awards at this year’s Georgia School Public Relations Assn.’s annual conference including a gold for our web site which is an education resource goldmine. We regularly field media inquiries which not only help tell Georgia’s public education story but serve in our branding efforts across the state.
Georgia Partnership’s Web Site
Economics of Education
It is hard to believe we started this program in late 2003 and it is still demanding attention across the state. We printed the 4th edition of the “Econ of Ed” booklet in 2013 and we spent the year crisscrossing Georgia delivering this important message: education is economics. Just how popular is it? In 2014 we made more than 50 presentations that reached approximately 2,000 audience members and we have provided almost 1,000 of the books. Economics of Education
Helping Georgia reach the goal of obtaining 250,000 more college grads by the year 2020 has been the ultimate goal for the Partnership’s provision of small grants to local chambers of commerce. The grants in 2014 to these chambers – Sylvester-Worth County, Tattnall County, Toccoa-Stephens County, and Gordon County – helped support their coordinated outreach efforts with their school systems. Over 1500 college-aspiring students plus their parents and community leaders were reached with the message that training/education after high school is essential for good jobs and a competitive economy. The grants funded projects ranging from multiple college campus tours, newspaper articles, to College and Career Days incorporating relevant speakers from the business community and higher education.
Education Policy Fellowship Program
Building capacity is the hallmark of this program as we continue to graduate Fellows who have a grasp of the importance of education policy to our Georgia public school system. Learning the intricacies of decision-making and collaborative leadership provide our state with an ever-increasing group of professionals who can effectively contribute when called upon. Cohort 6 graduated in May and Class 7 started their Fellowship program in September. Since we began EPFP in 2008, almost 150 business, education, and civic leaders have benefitted from the program. Consequently, most meetings that address education policy now have Fellows as participants. Education Policy Fellowship Program
Combining research with community engagement has been a win-win for local communities and state awareness through REACHES. This initiative, which focuses on improving Hispanic/Latino academic achievement, has continued into its third year in Calhoun City Schools and Tattnall County Schools. Defying the odds, REACHES Pre-K students in Calhoun are now ready for kindergarten. In Tattnall County, more than 40 community members received training on the educational rights of immigrant students, and over 20 Latino parents are learning English. The Partnership is sharing what we have learned about Latino student engagement through “Promising Practices for Engaging Hispanic/Latino students in Georgia” which has been distributed nationally and to more than 400 Georgia leaders.
Research Engagement and Communities for Hispanic/Latino Educated Students
Critical Issues Forums
Three times this year we presented compelling meetings that focused on topical issues: April 17 – Georgia’s Sea Change Leading to Effective Teachers; August 19 – Leadership at the Top Does Matter – School Superintendent Candidate Debate; November 12 – Workforce Development: Why STEM is Important. Full houses consistently gathered for expert insight and spirited discussion. Videos of the programs are posted on our website.
Critical Issues Forum
Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2014
The Media Symposium always starts with the formal “release” of this publication. Reporters appreciate being the first to review the newest topics and many write stories about them. This signature document is distributed across the state (more than 4,500 hard copies and several hundred electronic downloads) and is used by legislators and several of our university/college education programs. Partnership Reports/Papers
Race to the Top-Georgia’s Vision for Educational Excellence
Late in 2014, the Georgia Department of Education’s Race to the Top Implementation Team completed its work on the 4-year, $400 million grant the state received for its education reform efforts. DOE asked the Georgia Partnership to conduct an independent review of its work and publish a report. The finished product chronicles the massive amount of work conducted, many of the resulting achievements and what is ahead for Georgia in its continuing efforts to improve teaching and student achievement. Partnership Reports/Papers.
Better Standards for a Better Georgia Coalition
Leadership is something that has been a trademark of this organization for 22 years. There was a battle to be waged in the legislature this year and we stepped forward with our friends at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to build a coalition of organizations in support of the new higher standards for our state. Efforts to kill or curtail the Common Core State Standards in Georgia were soundly defeated. The Partnership has now taken the point position in keeping the coalition focused for the continuing battles ahead. BSBG Web Site
Teacher Voice – Jemelleh Coes, Georgia’s 2014 Teacher of the Year
Higher Education – Dr. Kimberly Griffin, Assistant Professor, Piedmont College
©2015 Georgia Partnership For Excellence In Education