Thursday, November 20, 2008

State Lawmakers Convene at Georgia State University to Discuss K-12 Education

Georgia State University’s College of Education welcomed state lawmakers November 19 for a discussion on ways to improve teacher preparation and retention, school leadership and student achievement throughout Georgia.

The college was the setting for the third meeting of the House and Senate Teacher Certification and Training Study Committee, convened by the state Legislature this summer.

“The most important thing is the time the teacher spends with the students in the classroom – Do we have quality teaching? Do we have an environment where students want to learn and teachers have the power to act?” said State Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody), co-chair of the committee. “To achieve that goal, there are so many factors you have to look at, not the least of which is leadership within that schoolhouse.”

During the all-day session, committee members listened to testimony from administrators and educators at University System of Georgia institutions and the Professional Standards Commission. They also heard from officials with Georgia’s Leadership Institute for School Improvement on the importance of strong school leaders.

Producing quality teachers is a priority of the University System of Georgia, Chancellor Erroll B. Davis said. The system has 22 teaching institutions preparing more than 3,500 new teachers each year. By 2020, the system hopes to increase that to 20,000 teachers. Attention should be given to teachers’ salaries to improve retention rates as well, Davis added.

College of Education Dean Randy Kamphaus said the college was happy to host the event.
“Given the topic is teacher education, we thought this would give them an opportunity to discuss issues in an appropriate context,” Kamphaus said. “In effect, we’re representing other colleges of education around the state today by hosting this event.”

The committee may meet again to discuss what specific action items or legislation it wants to move forward with during the upcoming legislative session, Weber said.

Georgia Front Page
Fayette Front Page

No comments: