AUGUST 16, 2021
GAE comments on results from Milestones tests
ATLANTA -- “The release of Milestone testing scores today by the Georgia Department of Education ‘underscores an over-reliance’ on testing and ‘shows the impact external factors often have on children’s performance on standardized tests,’” said Lisa Morgan, a kindergarten teacher and president of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE).
“Our members know a disproportionate reliance on standardized testing negatively impacts students and the educators who teach them,” Morgan noted. She emphasized that over the past year, educators have worked not only to teach but also to ensure our students physical, social, and emotional needs were met. “Standardized tests are mere snapshots of a single day and do not reflect what students truly know and the progress they have often made,” she said.
Morgan points out that the governor and the Georgia General Assembly know this too and, as a result, passed legislation in 2020 to reduce the number of high-stakes, high stress tests (SB 367). Realizing this also, the U.S. Department of Education permitted states to waive Milestone testing in 2020, and the state Department of Education essentially prevented their use in students’ final, end-of-course grades for the 2020-2021 school year.
“The stress of COVID and the disruption of proven teaching methods are responsible for the reduction of test scores in 2021 over 2019 and expose how standardized tests are impacted by factors unrelated to learning,” Morgan added. “Students are more than a test score and our focus must remain on their physical, social, emotional, and academic well-being as we continue to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
GAE is the state’s oldest and most effective advocate organization for public education, our students, classroom teachers and support staff, including cafeteria workers and school bus drivers and other education support professionals (ESPs.)