ATLANTA—Atlanta Public Schools is one of 12 school districts in Georgia , and the only district in metro Atlanta, selected by the Georgia Department of Education to participate in the pilot of a new teacher evaluation system intended to emphasize growth and elevate the teaching profession.
APS and 11 other participating districts will pilot the Georgia Leadership and Educator Acceleration and Development System (GaLEADS). This comprehensive educator evaluation system will allow teachers to improve their craft, share strengths, and be recognized for contributions to the profession. In addition, GaLEADS is designed to inform effective instructional practices, promote personalized professional development, and offer teacher leadership pathways.
“I am elated that the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) selected APS as one of 12 GaLEADS pilot districts,” said APS Chief Human Resources Officer Nicole Lawson. “GaLEADS was developed in response to the Georgia Department of Education’s 2022 Teacher Burnout Taskforce and the components of the model align with APS’ belief that teacher opinions and well-being matter!”
The ultimate goal of the pilot is to replace the current Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES).
“Our aim is to create a teacher evaluation system that values and elevates educators, instead of devaluing them – recognizing their central and irreplaceable role in student success,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I wish to thank these districts for coming alongside us to pilot a new system that is designed for teacher growth, from beginning teacher to teacher leader – to the benefit of students.”
The GaLEADS pilot districts include rural, urban, and suburban systems of varying sizes, along with a state charter school. All Georgia school districts had the opportunity to apply and were selected based on their readiness to address teacher recruitment and retention, focus on developing school leaders who foster strong instructional practices, and priorities related to strengthening the teacher and leader pipelines.
“GaLEADS is a game changer because it will give teachers more autonomy over their own professional growth and development, while giving them the resources to succeed in the teaching profession at every stage in their career,” Lawson said. “It’s my hope that APS teachers and leaders will benefit from a more personalized evaluation model which will in turn provide a more enriched and rigorous learning experience for our scholars.”
APS and the other pilot districts are beginning work this fall in anticipation of the pilot launch in August 2023. GaDOE will distribute funds to provide supplements to all teacher and leader pilot participants.
The other participating districts 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