ATLANTA — Georgia could lose $33 million of its $400 million Race to the Top school grant because of proposed changes to a new evaluation system for principals and teachers.
The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal saying the funding dedicated to the program are “at high risk.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the agency has asked the state to address its concerns by Aug. 1 and suggested monthly status reports on its progress.
Hawaii is the only other state to receive such a warning of the dozen that were awarded Race to the Top grants. Federal officials expressed concerns that the state is proposing changes before it finds out how well the proposed new evaluations worked. They were tried in 26 districts between January and May.
State officials are looking at scrapping evaluations of teachers by their kindergarten to second-grade students, arguing that ratings by children so young would likely be positive and not reliable. They also want surveys by older students to be informational and to not count as 10 percent of a teacher’s formal evaluation.
In the letter, the department expressed confidence that Georgia can right the program.
Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the governor is committed to working with the Department of Education to fulfill the mission of Race to the Top.