Friday, November 23, 2001
Board member named to education committee
Coweta County Board of Education member Smith Pass has been named to the Governor's Education Reform Implementation Task Force, joining Fairmount Principal Sylvia Hooker as one of two Coweta Countians on the 21-member task force.
The Implementation Task Force was begun in 2000 to review new education reform legislation and advise state officials on putting it into practice in Georgia schools.
Georgia Governor Roy Barnes also charged the group of education leaders and heads of education-related state agencies to provide guidance and assistance to local school systems as they began implementing the A-Plus Education Reform Act.
Pass was appointed to the task force by Barnes to replace an outgoing member. She is also a member of the Coweta County School Board and Co-Chair of the State Safety/Violence Taskforce.
Pass previously served on the Governor's Education Reform Study Commission, which met in 1999 and 2000 to review education reform issues and to advise Governor Roy Barnes on two rounds of education reform legislation.
Those sessions culminated with the Georgia General Assembly's adoption of HB 1187, the A-Plus Education Reform Act, in 2000 and HB 656 in 2001.
"I am counting on this group to shake up the educational system as it exists today in Georgia," Gov. Barnes said as he charged the Education Reform Committee in 1999.
"We have been able to put together a group of people who are both experienced with and devoted to educational issues, and I know that they will be able to develop sound ideas that will help restore public confidence in our schools."
Pass chaired the School Climate committee on the commission - one of four committees along with Seamless Education, Funding and Accountability Committees.
Fairmount Principal Hooker has served on Implementation Task Force since its inception, and was appointed by the Governor to represent school principals.
"We discuss the best ways of looking at 1187,examine it in all areas, and recommended how it can best be implemented across the state of Georgia."
Recommendations are made to the State Board of Education or various education departments in the state.
Hooker noted that the task force has also developed an implementation manual for every Superintendent and every school in Georgia, covering each component of HB 1187.
Hooker said the task force's recommendations have been taken seriously.
"So far, out of the time we've met, about 38 initiatives have gone through," she said, including recommendations made concerning class sizes, funding, standardized testing and her particular area of expertise, alternative education, programs.
Representing Georgia school principals has also brought her in contact with many of her peers in Georgia.
"I've been able to talk with principals in Coweta and around the state for feedback on these issues."
"We're glad we do have representation at the table," said Hooker. "It's an exciting process, because I've been able to sit and meet with many of the people we hear about, and they get the perspective of school leaders. I was very honored to be selected."
Pass is fulfilling the role of a representative school board member on the task force, "so I have to keep that hat on as we meet," she said.
"I'm honored to have been chosen," said Pass. "It's a small group of very knowledgeable and very bright people."
Other members of the 21-person committee include state Representative Kathy Ashe (D-46), Cathy Henson, of the State Board of Education, Dr. Davis Nelson, of the state Office of Accountability, Dr. Allene Magill, Superintendent of Dalton City School, Wendy Martin, Vice-President of Albany Technical College, Dr. Jeffrey Williams of the Georgia School Superintendent Association, and others from educational fields and state government. Tom Upchurch, President of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, chairs the task force.