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Georgia, Dougherty County schools face new student assessment testing

The Georgia Department of Education has replaced CRCT and EOCT assessments with "Georgia Milestones"

Assessing student progress and academic achievement are among the greatest changes facing students and educators for the coming school year in Georgia. (File Photo)

Assessing student progress and academic achievement are among the greatest changes facing students and educators for the coming school year in Georgia. (File Photo)

ALBANY — Say goodbye to the old Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) and End of Course Tests (EOCT), Georgia will implement a new student assessment program for the upcoming school year.

Assessing student progress and academic achievement are among the greatest changes facing students and educators for the coming school year in Georgia. The state received a waiver from the No Child Left Behind standards permitting the development of new evaluation measures. Georgia has given the last round of (CRCT), (EOCT) and Writing Assessments for grades 3, 5 and 8 that have measured student performance for the past ten years.

Georgia Milestones is the name chosen by the state for the new student performance and readiness evaluation program. According to Georgia Department of Education information, Georgia Milestones will allow school districts to recalibrate, as a state, and refocus on teaching and learning as a primary emphasis with assessment and accountability serving a supporting role.

This initiative is a single program, a system, not simply a new series of tests. Georgia Milestones includes a comprehensive collection of summative assessment tools designed to provide consistent expectations and rigor and give consistent signals about student readiness for the next level and student achievement with external measures such as the NAEP, PSAT, SAT and ACT tests.

The central performance measures provided in the new system include End Of Grade (EOG) assessments in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies for grades three through eight. High School students will have newly developed End Of Course (EOC) assessments in Ninth Grade Literature and Composition, American Literature and Composition, Coordinate Algebra, Analytic Geometry, Physical Science, Biology, U. S. History and Economics. Formative assessments will support these summative progress measures and will begin this fall in Georgia schools.

Among the notable features in the new evaluation system are the inclusion of constructed-response and extended response (open answer) items in specific subject areas. These items will appear in addition to selected-response items. There will also be a writing component at every grade level and course in the English/Language Arts assessments. National, norm-referenced items in every grade content area will provide for a national comparison of student progress.

An online practice center will be available for students. Over five years, the assessment system will move to an online, electronic administration that will eventually eliminate the paper and pencil versions of the test as the primary mode of test delivery.

Dougherty County Schools will open Monday.