March 2017 Monthly Update
Deal Announces Innovation Fund Tiny Grant Award Winners

On March 16, Gov. Deal announced 20 award winners for the Innovation Fund Tiny Grant Program, a competitive grant opportunity that provides funding to traditional public schools, charter schools and school districts to implement a small-scale program that directly engages students.

Programs funded by Tiny Grants must align with one of the three following priority areas: applied learning with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education, development and replication of blended learning school models, and birth-to-age-eight language and literacy development. 

If you are a teacher or administrator who has an idea to implement at your school, you can apply for the Innovation Fund Tiny Grant Program as well. Tiny Grants provide traditional public schools, charter schools, and school districts between $1,000 and $10,000 to implement an innovative project that will deeply engage students. Apply for a Tiny Grant by June 1st! 

The 20 grant award winners and their respective programs are listed below: 

Applied Learning with a Focus on STEAM Education
Drew Charter School - The Media Arts and Science Club
County Line Elementary - VR Critters
Westside High School - CREATE: Enrichment MakerSpace
Sallie Zetterower Elementary - Sprouting STEM at Sallie Z!
Floyd County Schools - Raised Bed to Table: Kitchen Gardens
Dr. M. H. Mason Elementary - Terra Club Herbs
McDuffie County Schools - Project S.T.R.I.D.E.
Elm Street Elementary - E3 (Engineering Entrepreneurial Experience)
Elm Street Elementary - Tiny House, Big Dreams
North Heights Elementary - Growing Up Green: Gadgets in the Garden
Warren County Schools - Community Gardens and Brown Bag Program
White County Middle School - WCMS Robotics

Birth through Age Eight Language and Literacy Development
Barrow County Schools - Barrow Book Partnership
Carrollton Elementary - Kindergarten Kick-Off
North Hart Elementary - Growing Great Minds at North Hart Elementary
Heard County Elementary - Heard County Baby Braves
Monroe County Schools - Pre-K Phonological Awareness Project
Montgomery County Schools - Eagle Express

Blended Learning
Jasper County Primary School - Blended Learning: Enhanced Literacy Development for Primary Students
Jones County High School - Blended Learning and Differentiated Instruction for Algebra 2

For summaries of the February 2017 Tiny Grant award winners, click here
The Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) strives to increase student achievement and school completion across Georgia through meaningful, transparent, and objective analysis and communication of statewide data. In addition, GOSA provides policy support to the Governor and, ultimately, to the citizens of Georgia.
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2017 Governor's Honors Program

Georgia Education Data and Dashboards

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Georgia Schools Like Mine Dashboard

Georgia Higher Learning and Earnings Dashboard 

High School Graduate Outcomes Dashboard

Interactive Education Data Map

Downloadable Education Data Files
GOSA Releases New Report Showing Link between 3rd Grade Reading and Later Academic Outcomes
On March 22, GOSA 
released a study examining the relationship between students’ 3rd grade reading proficiency and future academic success. 

Following a cohort of 3rd grade students from 2007 through 2016, the study finds that students who earned higher scores on the 3rd grade reading CRCT had higher high school graduation rates, were more likely to take the ACT or SAT, and had higher average ACT and SAT scores compared to students in the other performance levels. Some of the key findings include:

  • Nearly 9 in 10 students who exceeded expectations on the 3rd grade reading CRCT graduated from high school nine years later. Only 6 in 10 students who did not meet expectations in 3rd grade reading graduated nine years later.
  • Male students who did not meet expectations on the 3rd grade reading CRCT were 11 percentage points less likely to graduate than female students in that performance level.
  • In all three performance levels, economically disadvantaged students had graduation rates almost ten points lower than students who were not economically disadvantaged.
  • Three-fourths of students who scored in the exceeds expectations performance level in 3rd grade took either the SAT or ACT in high school. Only one-fourth of students in the does not meet expectations performance level took either test.
  • The average ACT and SAT score of students in the exceeds category in 3rd grade was significantly higher than students in both the meets and does not meet expectations performance levels.

The graduation rate, ACT/SAT participation rate, and ACT/SAT score patterns were consistent regardless of student race/ethnicity, gender, poverty, ELL status, and disability status. 

For the full press release, click here.
To read the full report, click here.
To download the data, click here

GOSA Releases Education Update on Georgia's Early Education Empowerment Zones
On March 23, GOSA published an education update providing a contextual profile of Georgia's Early Education Empowerment Zones (E3Zs).

In September 2014, Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) announced four sites to become the first Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge (ELC) grant E3Zs. The four E3Zs are the E3Z North (Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, and Gilmer Counties), the Clarke E3Z (Clarke County), the Bibb E3Z (Bibb County), and the South Georgia E3Z (Colquitt, Cook, Brooks, Lowndes, and Echols Counties). 

The purpose of the E3Z initiative is to increase the availability of high-quality early learning and development options and to integrate new or expanded services into high-quality child care programs focused on children with high needs, which includes children who are low-income, English learners, and children with disabilities or developmental delays.

The education update provides a general overview of the local implementation of select ELC grant strategies in the E3Zs thus far. The strategies include:
  • Birth-to-Eight teams
  • Quality Rated
  • Tiered family co-pay programs
  • Great Start Georgia home visitation model
  • Enhanced professional development, and
  • Economic development incentives.
To read the education update, click here

*Note: Education Updates were previously referred to as E-Bulletins. 
GOSA Releases Schools Like Mine Dashboard
On March 27, GOSA released the Schools Like Mine Dashboard. The interactive tool, located at, allows parents, educators, and community members to find schools with similar student populations to their school. It also lists the school’s letter grade and College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) to allow for comparison of performance between the “like” schools.
Once users select a school, they choose two characteristics from the list below to find schools with similar characteristics:
  • Enrollment
  • Economically Disadvantaged
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • English Language Learners, or
  • Students with Disabilities
The dashboard then displays the seven schools that most closely match the selected school based on those characteristics. It also displays five schools that most closely match based on all characteristics.

The dashboard will also be linked directly from the Georgia School Grades Reports site. The School Grades site allows users to interactively compare school performance information between schools, but it can be difficult to know what schools to choose for comparison. The Schools Like Mine link will open a new window to allow them find similar schools.

The Schools Like Mine Dashboard is one of several education data dashboards that GOSA has created to make data more accessible for Georgians. Other examples include:
  • High School Graduate Outcomes Dashboard—Select a Georgia high school and a graduating class year to see where those students went after graduation (e.g., universities, technical colleges, or working but not in school).
  • Higher Learning and Earnings Dashboard—Find out median earnings information for college graduates who work in Georgia one year and five years after graduation by college and major.

As the state's P-20 education agency, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) strives to increase student achievement, school completion, and life opportunities for all Georgia students. GOSA provides policy support to the Governor and ultimately the citizens of Georgia through: 
  • Communicating meaningful education data to stakeholders;
  • Providing research support and data analysis on various education programs in Georgia to inform the Governor’s policy, budget, and legislative efforts;
  • Auditing education programs to ensure fidelity at the district and school-level to performance and accountability requirements; and
  • Identifying, supporting, and sustaining educational innovations that align with the Governor’s education priorities.

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