Business, philanthropic and government investments have contributed to Georgia’s commendable advancements in education.  Despite these improvements, Georgia continues to struggle in developing a literate, competent workforce.  Multigenerational low literacy combined with an increasingly technical and complex workplace underlies the crisis facing all Georgians, its business and economy.
 
To determine the size and severity of this issue, Deloitte conducted a study and produced a report entitled “The State of Literacy in Georgia: Action Needed for Georgia’s Thriving Workforce and Economy.” Created at the behest of Literacy For All (LFA), a donor advised fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the study revealed a number of alarming facts:

 

  • 65 percent of Georgia’s third grade students are not reading at grade level;

  • 1.7 million Georgia adults are low literate; and

  • By 2018, 88 percent of all jobs in Georgia will require a high school diploma or post-secondary credential and over 820,000 Georgians will not qualify for these jobs.


In June 2017, responding to these facts, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce (GCC), the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) and LFA convened a business-led commission, the Georgia Literacy Commission (GLC), comprised of Chief Executive Officers, high-ranking business executives, and government agency heads from across the state. An advisory committee of experienced literacy and education stakeholders provided guidance, input and research to the Commission.  Together, the Commission and Advisory Committee conducted 11 public meetings during which state and private experts shared data-driven content relating to every age learner in order to explore the lifecycle of low literacy, understand root causes and motivation for positive change, and identify a blueprint for sustainable, practical, aligned, and actionable solutions that could be executed at the state and local levels.

Thus far, the process has resulted in a framework for ongoing convening and exploration of the topic, as well as immediately actionable recommendations found in this Preliminary Analysis and Review.

The Commission’s current (and likely future) recommendations embody a homegrown and multigenerational approach to statewide literacy. They not only amplify and leverage existing successful efforts underway in the literacy space, but also unify various parties to fill in gaps, address missed opportunities, and incubate and implement new ideas to end low literacy of all ages. 

Commission Members

Co-Chairs:

Sandra Deal
First Lady, State of Georgia
 
Wendell Dallas
Vice President, Operations
Atlanta Gas Light
 
Phil Jacobs
Retired President AT&T Georgia
 
Teya Ryan
President and CEO
Georgia Public Broadcasting

Commission Members:

Gretchen Corbin
Commissioner
Technical College System of Georgia

Steve Dorman
President
Georgia College and State University

Mark Elgart
President & CEO
AdvancED

Ariel Esteves
Director, Care4U Georgia Market
CareSource
 
Buster Evans
President
Teacher’s Retirement System of Georgia
 
Ben Hames
Deputy Commissioner, Workforce
Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

​Jaimie Hebert
President
Georgia Southern University
 
Patrise Perkins-Hooker
Fulton County Attorney
 
Amy Hutchins
Education and Workforce Development Manager
Georgia Power
 
Amy Jacobs
Commissioner
Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
 
Rick Jasperse, Chair
House Higher Education Committee
 
Tracie Kambies
U.S. Retail Sector Technology Lead
Deloitte
 
Helene Lollis
President
Pathbuilders, Inc.
 
Fran Millar, Chair
Senate Higher Education Committee
 
Frank “Chunk” Newman
Project Executive
Batson-Cook 
 
Jose Perez
President
Target Market Trends
 
Tunisia L. Poole
Counsel – Employment Law Team
AFLAC
 
Valencia Stovall
State Representative
 
Martha Ann Todd
Director
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
 
Chuck Williams
State Representative
 
Steve Wrigley
Chancellor
University System of Georgia
 
Joe Yarbrough
President & CEO
Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)


 

Advisory Committee Members

Chair:

Arianne Weldon
Director
Get Georgia Reading Campaign

Committee Members:

Mindy Binderman
Executive Director
GEEARS
 
Tim Cairl
Director, Education Policy
Metro Atlanta Chamber
 
Neal Dodell
Partner
Caiacco Law Firm
 
Caitlin Dooley
Deputy Superintendent
Georgia Dept. of Education
 
Iris Feinberg, PhD
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Associate Director, Adult Literacy Research Center
Georgia State University

Sarah Flesher
Founder and Project Manager
Endurance Project Management

Howard Grant
VP, Corp. Relations and External Affairs
Atlanta Housing Authority
 
Daphne Greenberg
Professor
Georgia State University, College of Education and Human Development
 
Ben Hames
Deputy Commissioner, Workforce
Georgia Dept. of Economic Development
 
Carol Hartman
Director of Policy and System Reform
Georgia Dept. of Early Care and Learning
 
Laura Hauser
Literacy Services Director
DeKalb Public Library

Cosby Johnson
Government Affairs Manager
Georgia Chamber of Commerce
 
Amy Lancaster
Director, Workforce Development
Metro Atlanta Chamber/workforce
 
Katie Landes
Director
Georgia Statewide After School Network Voices for Children 
 
Amy Mast
Vice President, Learning & Development
Community Engagement | Birth-Workforce
United Way of Greater Atlanta 
 
Polly McKinney
Owner
Long Game Strategies
 
Katrina D. Mitchell, M.Ed.
Director, Strategic Partnerships
Georgia Division of Family and Children Services

Mary Moore

Barbara Moushon
Director
CLCP, Columbus Technical College
 
Irene Munn
General Counsel & Director of Policy
Lt. Governor's Office
 
Michael O'Sullivan
Executive Director
GeorgiaCAN

Tom Rawlings
Director
Governor's Office of the Child Advocate
 
Dana Rickman
Policy and Research Director
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
 
Blythe Keeler Robinson
President and CEO
Sheltering Arms for Kids

Neil Shorthouse
Retired President
Communities in Schools Georgia 
 
Gaye Morris Smith
Executive Director
Georgia Family Connections Partnership
 
Cyndy Stephens
The LEEG
 
Annaliza Thomas
Director, CLCP
Technical College System of Georgia
 
Brenda Thomas
Executive Director of Adult Education
​Lanier Technical College
 
Che Watkins
President and CEO
The Center for Working Families, Inc.
 
Ken Zeff
Executive Director
Learn4Life

© 2018 by Georgia Literacy Commission.