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Statement of Governor Sonny Perdue Regarding Approval of Georgia's Accountability Plan

Monday, May 19, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - The following is a statement from Governor Sonny Perdue regarding the approval of Georgia's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) plan. U. S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced approval of the state's plan today during a press conference held at Georgia's State Capitol.

"We are extremely pleased that the U. S. Department of Education has approved Georgia's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) plan. Approval of the AYP plan shows that Georgia is moving in the right direction with our K-12 accountability programs. This is a positive signal for Georgia's children," said Governor Sonny Perdue.

"I applaud the 'no excuses' approach to education endorsed by President Bush and Secretary Paige. Georgia will adopt the same approach -- high standards for all students, needed tools and flexibility for our school systems and educational professionals to help our children achieve at the highest levels," said Governor Perdue.

Signed into law in January 2002 by President George W. Bush, the No Child Left Behind Act, signaled the nation's most sweeping education reform of federal education policy in decades. Among the Act's major elements are (1) accountability for results standards, (2) unprecedented state & local flexibility for school districts, (3) focus of resources on proven educational methods and (4) expanded choices for parents of children in chronically failing schools. Federal law requires each state develop, present and gain approval for its consolidated plan to comply with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

"Our successfully approved AYP plan will serve as the centerpiece for our state's compliance with the No Child Left Behind act. Many thanks are due State Superintendent Kathy Cox and her team for their efforts to shepherd this important component of the larger plan. I would also like to acknowledge the input we received from local educators regarding the measurement of school improvement and the state's Office of Educational Accountability for the expertise it provided," said Governor Perdue.

"Education remains one of my top priorities. I would like to acknowledge the important first steps taken by Georgia's legislators with the passage of Senate Bill 249. I will enthusiastically sign this legislation very soon. I also look forward to working with our legislators, business community, parents and educators to pass reforms that provide an accountability system for Georgia that is aligned with No Child Left Behind and is squarely focused on ensuring that our children win in education," concluded Governor Perdue.