Atlanta Public Schools Named Among 12 Districts For Georgia’s New Teacher Evaluation Pilot – On Common Ground News

ATLANTA—Atlanta Public Schools is one of 12 Georgia school districts and the only metro Atlanta district selected by the Georgia Department of Education to pilot a new teacher appraisal system designed to emphasize growth and improve the teaching profession.

APS and 11 other participating districts will pilot the Georgia Leadership and Educator Acceleration and Development System (GaLEADS). This comprehensive educator rating system allows teachers to hone their craft, share strengths, and be recognized for contributions to the profession. In addition, GaLEADS was designed to inform effective classroom practices, encourage personalized professional development, and provide educational pathways for teacher leadership.

“I am very pleased that the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has selected APS as one of 12 GaLEADS pilot districts,” said Nicole Lawson, APS Chief Human Resources Officer. “GaLEADS was developed in response to the Georgia Department of Education’s 2022 Teacher Burnout Taskforce, and the components of the model are consistent with APS’ belief that teachers’ opinions and well-being matter!”

The ultimate goal of the pilot is to replace the current Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES).

“Our goal is to create a teacher appraisal system that values ​​and empowers educators, rather than belittling them – and recognizes their central and irreplaceable role in student success.” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I want to thank these districts for standing with us to pilot a new system designed for teacher development, from novice to teacher leader – for the benefit of students.”

The GaLEADS pilot districts include rural, urban, and suburban systems of varying sizes, as well as a state charter school. All Georgia school districts were eligible to apply and were selected based on their willingness to address teacher recruitment and retention, focus on developing leaders who promote strong classroom practices, and related priorities with strengthening teacher and leader pipelines.

“GaLEADS changes the game by giving teachers more autonomy in terms of their own professional growth and development, while giving them the resources to be successful at every stage of their teaching career,” said Lawson. “I hope that APS teachers and leaders will benefit from a more personalized assessment model, which in turn will provide our students with a richer and more rigorous learning experience.”

APS and the other pilot districts will begin work this fall in anticipation of the pilot’s launch in August 2023. GaDOE will distribute funds to provide supplements to all teachers and leaders of the pilot.

The other participating counties are:

  • Brooks County Schools
  • Clay County Schools
  • Dooly County Schools
  • Dougherty County Schools
  • Gordon County Schools
  • Griffin-Spaulding County Schools
  • Liberty Tech Charter School
  • Lowndes County Schools
  • Jefferson County Schools
  • Muscogee County Schools
  • Savannah-Chatham Public Schools


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