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Georgia announces new testing system

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Education will implement a new testing system, the Georgia Milestones Assessment System, during the 2014-15 academic year.

The new system will replace both the CRCT and the EOCT.

Georgia Milestones will be aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and will require more from students than the CRCT and EOCT it replaces, in order to better prepare students for college and career, and to provide a more realistic picture of academic progress.

A major benefit of the new system is that it is one consistent testing program across grades 3-12, whereas previously students took a series of individual tests.

The increased expectations for student learning reflected in Georgia Milestones may mean initially lower scores than the previous years’ CRCT or EOCT scores. That is to be expected and should bring Georgia’s tests in line with other indicators of how our students are performing, said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

“We need to know that students are being prepared, not at a minimum-competency level but with rigorous, relevant education, to enter college, the workforce or the military at a level that makes them competitive with students from other states,” said Barge.

The new testing system will include open-ended questions to better gauge students’ content mastery. With some exceptions for special education students with specific testing accommodations, Georgia Milestones will be administered entirely online by the fifth year of implementation, compared to 35 percent online administration of the EOCT in 2013-14.

The State of Georgia awarded a bid May 28, to CTB/McGraw-Hill to develop the new testing system. The award is for a $107.8-million, five-year contract.