The Georgia Milestones Assessment System was developed to measure how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state-adopted content standards in the subjects of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Students in Grades 3 through 8 will take End of Grade Assessments in each content area, while high school students will take End of Course assessments for each of the eight courses designated by the State Board of Education.
Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, students will take this new standardized test, which replaces the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT's). The transition to the GA Milestones was developed because the Georgia State Board of Education adopted new content standards in 2010 in the main academic subjects with the goal of improving student learning and preparing students for college and the workplace.
The format for the Georgia Milestones Assessment includes three types of questions including multiple choice, open-ended and a writing component. The Georgia Milestones will be administered primarily online. The transition from paper/pencil tests to online tests will occur gradually over the course of five years. Students with disabilities will still be able to take paper/pencil tests as needed.
The results of the Georgia Milestones will be based on how well students master the course content standards. Students will receive one of four performance levels depicting students' mastery of state standards. Additionally information will be given in the form of national percentiles, depicting how students' achievement compares to peers nationally.
Guiding principles of the Georgia Milestones' includes the following:
- be sufficiently rigorous to ensure Georgia students are well positioned to compete with other students across the United States and internationally;
- be designed across grade levels to show clear signals of student progress/development/growth and preparedness for the next level whether it be the next grade level, course or college or career;
- support and inform educator effectiveness initiatives;
- inform state and federal accountability at the school, district and state levels.
More information regarding the Georgia Milestones is available on the website of the Georgia Department of Education and the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.
Resources used to put together this article:
Georgia Milestones Assessment System : Questions and Answers for Parents from the GA Department of Education
Georgia Milestones: Georgia's New Standardized Test from the Governor's Office of Student Achievement
Assessment Update Georgia's Changing Assessment Landscape through the GA Department of Education Office of the State School Superintendent