As a former teacher in the system, I can tell you that teacher quality in this system is truly hit or miss. The administrators are power-hungry being pitted against one another by the Board of Education for everything from scores down to donations to the United Way procured by each. This results in an atmosphere of dislike from one school to another.
The EBIS system, which is in place to help students who are below level and/or struggling, is currently a total failure. Now employed in a nearby county where this system works much more effectively, I can see in retrospect that we were simply not doing this correctly in Newton County (Covington).
The ratio of teacher to student is increasing, and it was high when I was employed there a year ago. There are no parapros to assist teachers other than Kindergarten, Pre-K, or special education/ESOL classes. Copies are at a minimum with each copy being a struggle to get made. Students suffer in this process because the materials they need cannot be written on. This may be fine for high school or middle school kids, but it is very, very hard for first graders to match up answers on a separate pc. of paper.
The grading system in the entire state is changing to a 1-2-3- system instead of the A-B-C system of the past. The 1-2-3 system simply takes a concept and asks the teacher to subjectively rate whether or not the student has met the goal, is progressing toward the goal, or is not meeting the goal. Too simplistic! It is not going to change, though, so my suggestion is to keep in close touch with your child's teacher by email. Require that constant feedback on a child's performance- even at elementary level. Teachers are going to be SWAMPED with too many kids to help and no support system. Be that slightly squeeky but likeable wheel and your child ends up with a bit more oil. Sorry, but it is true in these overpacked classrooms in Newton County!
All in all, you will be able to get a good education, but your child- if he or she needs speech therapy, special ed services, etc. you must stamp your feet to get an IEP meeting. As a teacher, it took a full year to get speech therapy started for my elementary aged child. It took 4 months to get an IEP meeting for my ADHD child to be classified as Other Health Impaired in Middle school. I know the system and how to insist on service based on law... still it took a lot to get this done.
And remember above all- teachers cannot stand it when you go over their head to a principal before speaking to him or her.... And the principal cannot stand it when you go to the school board and over his or her head. The school board gets action, so if you are dissatisfied... find their number and make a call. You will get attention immediately!