Georgia’s commitment to a quality instructional program is evident in the state statutes and the resulting rules, regulations and policies implementing those statutes. In the preamble to the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) in 1985 and in its subsequent revisions, including the A+ Education Reform Act of 2000, the General Assembly stated the need for:
- "Implementing a quality basic education curriculum in public schools statewide which ensures that each student is provided ample opportunity to develop competencies necessary for lifelong learning as well as the competencies needed to maintain good physical and mental health, to participate actively in the governing process and community activities, to protect the environment and conserve public and private resources, and to be an effective worker and responsible citizen of high character;"
- "Providing all children and youth in Georgia with access to a quality program which supports their development of essential competencies in order that they may realize their potential;..."
- "Establishing and maintaining statewide standards which ensure that each student has access to a quality program;..."
- "Providing an accountability system to ensure that all students are receiving a quality instructional program so that all students can achieve at their highest level; and
- "Providing a seamless education system to allow for the delivery of educational programs at all levels and the movement of students between programs and education agencies as efficiently and effectively as possible and to provide for coordination on a continuing basis between agencies responsible for education services."1
To achieve these objectives, the General Assembly and the State Board of Education have prescribed a curriculum which local school systems have the responsibility to implement. Local boards of education have the option of supplementing or enhancing the state prescribed curriculum. This chapter identifies a number of curriculum issues with which local boards of education should be familiar. The chapter also will review assessment and testing of students, particularly as assessment relates to the concept of local accountability for student learning and achievement.