November 26, 2020

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Georgia Dept. of Education identifies standardized tests to be eliminated

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The Georgia Department of Education announced it’s eliminated the Georgia Milestones End-of-Course tests that are...

The Georgia Department of Education announced it’s eliminated the Georgia Milestones End-of-Course tests that are normally required for high school students.

The Georgia Milestones End-of-Course tests to be eliminated are geometry/analytic geometry, ninth grade literature and composition, physical science, and economics.

In 2015, there were 32 state-required tests. By the beginning of 2020, the number of required tests was down to 19.

And Senate Bill 367, which eliminated the fifth-grade social studies Georgia Milestones assessment, was signed into law in July. State BOE officials say this reduced Georgia’s elementary school testing to the federal minimum.

High school students in Georgia will continue to take the Georgia Milestones EOCs in the following subjects:

  • Algebra I/Coordinate Algebra
  • American Literature and Composition
  • Biology
  • US History

The only tests in Georgia that are not required by federal law at this time are eighth-grade social studies and high-school US History, bringing middle and high school testing closely in line with federal minimum requirements.

This chart identifies the changes to Georgia’s standardized testing requirements since 2015:



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© Provided by WTGS Savannah


Source: Georgia Department of Education/Storyblocks

The Georgia Department of Education requested a waiver of 2020-2021 federal standardized testing requirements in July in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

State education officials report the US Department of Education hasn’t yet responded to Georgia’s individual waiver request. However, the Department of Education did send a letter recently to all Chief State School Officers, explaining that they “should not anticipate such waivers being granted” for the 2020-2021 school year.

State Superintendent Richard Woods has responded by committing to following federal law while removing “the high-stakes power of the test to the greatest degree possible.” Woods plans to announce further actions in the next few days.

“Throughout my time as State School Superintendent, I have expressed deep and persistent concerns about the number and weight of high-stakes tests in Georgia,” Superintendent Woods said. “While there is certainly still work to do, Georgia’s state testing requirements are now in line with the federal minimum, significantly decreasing the testing burden in Georgia’s public schools. Reducing the number of high-stakes tests allows space for a greater focus on teaching, learning, and remediation – exactly where the focus should be for Georgia’s students and teachers.”

Read Superintendent Woods’ full letter responding to the US Department of Education.

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