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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 12:14pm

Georgia Milestones: Educators To Review New Test Plan Soon

Some teachers from across Georgia could get a sneak peek at the new Georgia Milestones Assessments Test as soon as this month. Georgia Milestones will replace the CRCTs and End-of-Course Assessments for students.

The state officially started its contract with education testing company CTB July 1. However, according to State Deputy Superintendent Melissa Fincher, the Georgia Department of Education has already been working closely with the company to move the process forward.

“We’ve been having planning meetings to make sure that we’re geared up and ready to roll,” explained Fincher. “And we’ve been working with CTB almost every day getting ready to make sure that we have an assessment system in place for the 14-15 school year.”

Fincher said she hopes to share blueprints with educators from across the state soon.

“It’s just like a blueprint for a house where you’re saying you know, the types of rooms you’re going to have, the measurements of those rooms. So, it’s very similar to that,” said Fincher. “A blueprint would say the number of items that are going to be on the test, the different types of items that are going to be on the test.”

Educators will have a chance to weigh in on that proposed test structure. Not up for debate, though, is the state’s shift away from tests where students simply fill in bubbles on a score sheet.

“I’ll just stress that we’re going to include open-ended items on this test where students have to demonstrate what they have learned and how they know, explain their answers, show their work and that’s going to be very different from what we’ve had in the past where we’ve been solely multiple choice,” Fincher added.

The state plans to release sample questions to teachers and the public around the start of the school year this fall. The tests must be in place by December when high school students on block scheduling will have to take their first end of course tests under the Georgia Milestones umbrella.