The Madison County School District will conduct the Georgia Milestone exams to students in third through 12th grade later this spring.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Milestones Assessment is an exam designed to “provide students with the critical information about their own achievement and their readiness for their next level of learning.”
The decision comes weeks after the Georgia Department of Education announced that the U.S. Department of Education wants to continue with testing this year.
Richard Woods, superintendent of the Georgia Department of Education, is disappointed with the decision.
“I completely disagree with this decision, and believe it shows the continued disconnect between Washington D.C. and the realities of the classroom,” he said.
Education officials, both on the state and federal level, are worried about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected students and teachers. A survey conducted by the Georgia DOE says 96% agree that state standardized testing should not take place this year.
Woods said, “our students and teacher focus belongs on making it through this challenge together and addressing learning loss, not on the pressure of high-stakes standardized testing.”Why It’s Newsworthy: Education officials alongside teachers and parents in the state of Georgia say that standardized testing should not be conducted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic inequalities.
Students who have been going to school virtually will not have to come into school for the sole purpose to take the Georgia Milestone assessment. Education officials at the Georgia DOE have emphasized that parents have that option available if they choose to send their child during the examination period.
“I have communicated to Georgia school districts that they should not require virtual students to come into the building solely for the purpose of taking Georgia Milestones, and should ensure that parents understand this option is available to them.” — @SuptWoods
— GA Dept of Education (@georgiadeptofed) February 24, 2021
The Georgia DOE has worked alongside Gov. Brian Kemp to reduce the stakes of federally and state-mandated testing. The board reduced the weight of exams to 0.1% of students’ final grade, teachers will not receive an end-of-year evaluation score, and they will be using other methods to determine the promotion/retention of students.
Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Association of Educators, has applauded the state for their efforts in modifying testing during the pandemic.
“These actions would not eliminate accountability for teachers and administrators, but rather promote shared accountability and mutual support among educators and families,” she said.
While the Madison County School District will be conduct its testing this school year, the district does plan to follow all guidance From the state to ensure a healthy and safe testing environment for students and teachers.
Adalberto Solis is a senior majoring in journalism and political science in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
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