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Board members OK flexibility application
State may vote on plan next month
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County school board approved the district’s application for Investing in Education Excellence, or IE2, status on Thursday night, but not without a little tinkering.

It appeared last week that negotiations with the state were finished on a proposed contract that could provide flexibility from state mandates in exchange for more accountability.

But the school district had to make some last-minute changes as a result of Monday’s second public hearing on the proposal.

The proposal now goes to the state board for approval, which could come as early as April 2.

The concern Thursday involved the baseline data being used as a comparison for future results.

After the meeting, School Superintendent Buster Evans said the plan is “going to be something that we continue to work” on with the state board of education.

“Just because we have a contract, both parties will still work to continue to make sure that the implementation of that contract is done in such a way that it benefits all our schools,” Evans said.

“We’re in new territory ... and I think we expect there to be perhaps amendments, discussions ... modifications as we move through doing something that basically no one’s ever done.”

The district originally submitted a proposed contract using the 2007-08 school year as the baseline year for which to measure future results.

But if one school noticed higher than usual scores during that year, it could reduce the likelihood of the school meeting or exceeding the benchmark under the proposed five-year contract.

Though some schools’ results are consistent year to year, Associate Superintendent Lissa Pijanowski said demographic shifts have altered others.

For those schools, she said, a three-year average would be more beneficial.

“We’ve been on a constant conference call with the Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for the week,” Pijanowski said. “We have been granted approval to allow differentiation of baseline data, which really benefits our school system the most, to be quite frank.

“We have continued this negotiation process to really seek the most benefit for our kids.”

Individual plans for each school will be posted on the school system’s Web site, www.forsyth.k12.ga.us, beginning Monday.