rainn.png
Thursday April 9th, 2020 7:39AM
5:07AM ( 2 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Georgia officials seek to end 5 tests for state students

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp and state Superintendent Richard Woods announced a plan Tuesday to cut five mandatory standardized tests for Georgia public school students, including four in high school.

The Republican officials are also trying to cut the length of state tests and evaluate local tests that Georgia's 181 school districts give to evaluate student progress.

Both Woods and Kemp oppose the current amount of testing, part of a national backlash to a system largely built by Republicans in Georgia.

“When you look at the big picture, it's clear Georgia simply tests too much," Kemp said at a Tuesday news conference. “On test days it's making students physically sick because they're worried they will not do well. That is simply unacceptable in our state.”

The biggest changes would come in high school. Students would no longer have to take four tests. The economics test would be dropped and the state Board of Education would decide which others would go, possibly geometry, physical science and American literature.

Students would still take four tests — U.S. history and possibly algebra, biology, and ninth grade literature and composition. The federal government requires high school students take at least one test in math, science and English/language arts. The history test is not required by the federal government, but Georgia would keep it.

The proposed legislation would also let the state Board of Education drop the high school exams from being considered in course grades. Now, state law requires that exams be included in course grades. The board's policy requires that a test count for one-fifth of a student's overall course grade.

All eight courses would still be required for high school graduation, but the state would no longer have a standard yardstick to evaluate student performance in four, and could make the exam carry no direct consequences for students in the other four. Woods said he wasn't worried.

“I put my faith in the teachers of the state of Georgia,” Woods said, expressing confidence that teachers would keep covering state standards even if a subject was no longer tested.

Georgia would still require a writing assessment in high school, but would allow it to be given any time from 9th to 12th grade, instead of in 11th grade as is now required.

The state earlier eliminated certain high school tests for students taking dual enrollment college courses while in high school, or students taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses.

Margaret Ciccarelli, director of legislative affairs for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the state's largest teachers' group, said the association supports fewer tests.

“Our membership strongly indicates they believe Georgia's assessment program is not serving student needs,” she said.

But Michael O'Sullivan of Georgia CAN, an education group which has supported a strong accountability system, said eliminated high school tests are unlikely to ease complaints about over-testing of younger students.

“When parents are complaining about testing, it's not high school tests,” O'Sullivan said.

For those younger students, the plan would drop a fifth-grade social studies test not required by the federal government, but would hang onto an optional eighth grade test in Georgia history. Woods said it was important to keep testing history in part to promote civics education.

The measure would require students be tested in the last five weeks of the school year, trying to push back state testing, on the belief that such a move would provide more instructional time for teachers. Districts now are encouraged, but not required, to test late in the year.

Kemp's plan also aims to cut the length of the Georgia Milestones standardized tests by eliminating questions that allow for comparing student performance to other states. Kemp and Woods say Georgia students already take the SAT and ACT college exams, allowing for comparisons. A sample of Georgia students also take the National Assessment of Educational Progress. That move is likely to go hand-in-glove with an ongoing effort to overhaul state standards. Some are pushing for a cut in the number of standards, which could also lead to shorter tests.

The plan would let the state conduct an inventory of tests given by local districts, typically used to benchmark progress toward meeting state standards, in an effort to eliminate redundant tests and suggest the most effective tests. State officials have discussed a voluntary benchmark test that the state would pay for, but it's not mandated in the proposal.

There are some things the proposal would not do. Woods has been calling for the Kemp-controlled Governor's Office of Student Achievement to stop assigning A-to-F grades to schools and districts, and said those discussions are continuing with Kemp. The governor could make that change without action by the General Assembly, but isn't currently planning to do so. Kemp also isn't seeking to alter the 100-point College and Career Ready Performance Index, which is part of state law and is the basis for the letter grades.

Georgia also uses the tests to help calculate school ratings for high schools. It wasn't immediately clear how fewer tests would affect that calculation, but federal approval could be required for any changes.

___

Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Georgia officials seek to end 5 tests for state students
Gov. Brian Kemp and state Superintendent Richard Woods are announcing a plan Tuesday to cut five mandatory standardized tests for Georgia public school students
3:02AM ( 33 minutes ago )
The Latest: Belgium confirms its 1st case of virus
Belgium has reported its first case of a new virus in a person who was repatriated from the Chinese epicenter of the outbreak
2:55AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Caucus crashed: Democrats' results delayed by tech troubles
Problems with a mobile app appear to have forced a delay in reporting the results of the Iowa caucuses
2:49AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump faces accusers: What to watch during his big speech
President Donald Trump will be facing his accusers Tuesday night during his State of the Union speech
1:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Iowa precinct chair cites error message on app
A precinct chairman in Iowa says when he tried to input voting results into Democrats' reporting app, he kept getting a confusing error message
1:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Caucus organizers had just hours to test new app
Organizers running precincts for Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses didn’t get to test the mobile app they were to use to report results until just hours before voting began
12:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump trial closing arguments aim at voters, history
Closing arguments Monday in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial were directed more toward history than to sway the outcome, one final chance to influence public opinion and set the record ahead of his expected acquittal in the Republican-led Senate
7:03PM ( 8 hours ago )
California bill seeks takeover of nation's largest utility
A California lawmaker wants to transform the nation's largest electric utility into a publicly owned company
5:21PM ( 10 hours ago )
Republicans lead fundraising in Georgia's dual Senate races
Campaign finance reports show that Georgia’s incumbent Republican U.S. senators have built a healthy fundraising advantage over their rivals in the state’s dual Senate races
3:58PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Tatum leads Celtics past Hawks 123-115 for 4th straight win
Jayson Tatum scored 28 points and Grant Williams drove for a key basket in the final minute, leading the Boston Celtics to a 123-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks
11:49PM ( 3 hours ago )
No. 3 Oregon deals No. 4 UConn first campus loss in 7 years
Ruthy Hebard had 22 points and 12 rebounds and No. 3 Oregon handed fourth-ranked UConn its first loss on campus in seven years, rolling to a 74-56 victory
11:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
No. 3 Oregon deal No. 4 UConn first campus loss in 7 years
Ruthy Hebard had 22 points and 12 rebounds and No. 3 Oregon handed fourth-ranked UConn its first loss on campus in seven years, rolling to a 74-56 victory
11:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
The Latest: Belgium confirms its 1st case of virus
Belgium has reported its first case of a new virus in a person who was repatriated from the Chinese epicenter of the outbreak
2:55AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Caucus crashed: Democrats' results delayed by tech troubles
Problems with a mobile app appear to have forced a delay in reporting the results of the Iowa caucuses
2:49AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Dems lay a big caucus egg: No results from Iowa election
It's the crucial leadoff election with no results
2:41AM ( 53 minutes ago )
Sony raises forecast despite lagging video-game business
Fiscal third-quarter profit at Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. dipped to about half of what it was the previous year as its video game, networking and film businesses stumbled
2:37AM ( 57 minutes ago )
Eyes on Russell, Iguodala, more as NBA trade deadline nears
It is the time of year when every injury report causes eyebrows to raise
2:34AM ( 1 hour ago )