Coweta Board of Education
New state test to replace CRCTs and EOCTs
by Celia Shortt
Coweta County is ready to adopt the new testing system being implemented by the state Board of Education for the 2014-2015 school year.
This new testing system, the Georgia Milestones Assessment System, announced Wednesday by state officials will replace both current assessments currently used for students – the CRCTs and EOCTs – and will be aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.
It will also require more from students than the previous testing systems.
Testing coordinator for the Coweta County School System, Dr. Peggy Guebert, said CCSS has been anticipating this new test for about a year.
“It’s going to be a much more rigorous test,” said Guebert.
The reason for the increased rigor is to look for better indicators for student readiness after graduation to enter college or the workplace. “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 Georgia State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge in a press release on Wednesday.
Barge also said the “increased expectations for student learning” in the new test may mean lower scores in the first year than previous CRCT or EOCT scores.
“With it being new, we know there will be lower scores, but those will be statewide,” said Guebert.
The new test will also be completely online in the next five years, with more of the test being online each year until then.
Guebert says CCSS has had a “very positive experience” with the online testing they have done so far, and the recent technology plan approved by the school board includes the necessary upgrades for the complete test to be online.
“It will positively impact technology in school,” she said. “The testing administration and testing security online will be much better.”
Part of the increased rigor of the new test will be the implementation of open ended questions.
State education said in the press release Wednesday this type of question will “better gauge students’ content mastery.”
The state board announced the adoption of the new Georgia Milestones testing system through a press release on Wednesday. The State of Georgia awarded a $107.8 million, five-year contract to CTB/McGraw-Hill on May 28 to develop the new testing system.