U.S. DOE: Schools must administer GA Milestones, Bulloch Co. school leaders react

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BULLOCH CO, Ga. (WSAV) – Bulloch County Schools will administer the state’s standardized tests this spring to students in third through eighth grades and in certain high school courses. For this year these Georgia Milestones assessments will not be used to make promotion and retention decisions for a child. 

“It’s not something we wanted to have to do, we didn’t want to put that pressure on teachers and students but it’s final and we just have to move forward from here and make it work,” says Bulloch County Schools Superintendent, Charles Wilson.

For families whose children are enrolled in the school district’s virtual learning program, a survey with testing options will be sent to them by March 2, to indicate their choices. A schedule for proctored testing sessions at the school for virtual learners will be developed based on parent responses and then published prior to testing in April.

Virtual learners may participate in Georgia Milestones assessments if parents or guardians indicate on the survey the choice to have their child tested at school. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) does not currently recommend remote administration as an option for Georgia Milestones assessments and believes it is not achievable due to logistical, connectivity, and security concerns.

Georgia Milestones scores provide additional measures of student mastery of standards that may be helpful to teachers and administrative staff as they plan for instruction for the 2021-2022 school year.

“We are focusing more on our formative diagnostic program. We use something called I-ready to focus on real time indicators on how students are doing so we can intervene and address the learning gaps on the spot,” explains Wilson.

The State Board of Education has approved State Superintendent Richard Woods’ recommendation that its score weight only be .01% of a student’s final course grade rather than the normal 20%.

Further information about the federal response to Georgia’s request to waive assessment and accountability requirements cane be found here.

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