Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Introduction...Alliance of Education Agency Heads

Many observers agree Georgia's public education system is improving. Gov. Sonny Perdue last summer (2006) saw the positive trend but looked for a way to turn that into lasting, long-term outcomes. As a result, the Alliance of Education Agency Heads (AEAH) was born.

You will be hearing more about this group as they bring their combined resources together to better focus and coordinate their efforts in making systemic changes to public education in Georgia. The Alliance is composed of the leaders of seven state agencies -Department of Education, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Georgia Student Finance Commission, Department of Early Care and Learning, Professional Standards Commission, Department of Adult and Technical Education, Office of Student Achievement - and is chaired by State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox.

Individually, they are responsible for almost every part of the public education system. But now collectively they are "teaming for Georgia's children" in an orchestrated effort to bring more assets to the table to get things done. The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce are serving as advisory members to bring the voice of the business community to the table and then to advise business leaders on the Alliance's work.

The Alliance has five goals:

* Increase high school graduation rate, decrease high school dropout rate, and
* increase post secondary enrollment rate.
* Strengthen teacher quality, recruitment and retention.
* Improve workforce readiness skills.
* Develop strong education leaders, particularly at the building level.
* Improve the SAT/ACT scores of Georgia students.

These goals will guide efforts to improve Georgia's education system and will result in higher student achievement rates well into the future. Improvements in education will lead to improvements in the state's economic development as well. Having a well-educated and easily trainable workforce draws commerce and provides opportunity.