Many children in Cobb County recently completed the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade tests successfully, but their grades reportedly won’t be used in decisions about whether to promote or retain them.
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones) is a comprehensive summative assessment program spanning grades 3 through high school. Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state-adopted content standards in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Students in grades 3 through 8 take an end-of-grade assessment in each content area, while high school students take an end-of-course assessment for each of the ten courses designated by the State Board of Education.
The Marietta Daily Journal reports that even though the April testing went smoothly for children in grades 3,5, and 8 – due to technological problems in other counties during the administration of the tests – the scores won’t be used.
“Thursday, the Georgia Board of Education approved a request from the state Department of Education to waive the state’s promotion, placement, and retention requirements because computer glitches and other technological issues during testing may have impacted some students’ performance,” the article reads. “In a statement released after the request was approved, the Department of Education explained how some school districts were affected by ‘technology-related interruptions of online testing.’”
There were reportedly two disruptions during testing in Marietta schools.
According to Michael Huneke, Director of Assessments for Marietta schools, the schools test 100 percent online, so there’s no paper and pencil administration.
“We had two schools with technology issues related to local equipment failure,” Huneke told the MDJ. “The students were able to get to a natural breakpoint, we replaced the equipment overnight, and they resumed testing the next day.”
This is the second straight year that scores from the Milestones EOG tests will not be used in student performance assessments. Scores last year were reportedly waived because it was a new assessment.
“The delay this year in receiving scores not only effects schools’ ability to use the scores in promotion and retention decisions, it also presents a problem for Milestone retesting set to begin May 16,” the article reads.
According to Georgia Department of Education, the department delayed releasing scores so it could determine if the technology problems negatively impacted students.