The State Board of Education Thursday granted a waiver of promotion, placement, and retention requirements tied to the 2016 administration of the Georgia Milestones End of Grade tests.
During this year's administration of the Georgia Milestones EOG tests, some local school districts reported technology-related interruptions of online testing. While some of these events were short-term and quickly resolved, with minimal impact on student experiences, others required more extensive technical support. The GaDOE believes that further analysis of the possible impacts of these interruptions is warranted prior to the release of student scores, given the stakes involved for students.
"I am committed to a responsible approach to accountability that ensures public trust in the process,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Given the technology issues experienced by some students during the online administration of the Georgia Milestones EOGs, we believe it is best to proceed with caution when it comes to basing promotion, placement and retention on the outcome of the tests. While many districts tested online without a major incident, in the interests of our students, we asked the State Board of Education for a waiver of the promotion, placement and retention portion of the rule."
State law requires that students in third grade earn an “at or above grade level” designation in reading to be promoted to fourth grade. In fifth and eighth grades, state law requires that students earn an “at or above grade level” designation in reading, as well as score in the “developing learner” achievement level or above in mathematics to be promoted to the next grade.
These are the promotion, placement and retention requirements being waived for the 2016 EOG administration. Some local school systems have additional promotion criteria, and this waiver will not preclude school districts from applying local policies and protocols for promotion and retention decisions for students.
Pending the approval of the Educator Effectiveness Committee, student growth will be held harmless for the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) and Leader Keys Effectiveness System (LKES) this year, and will not count next year with the revised evaluation system.
The Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS) component of the TKES and the Leader Assessment on Performance Standards (LAPS) component of the LKES will continue to be the sole measure used to determine the performance rating of teachers of record and leaders reported by employing school systems and charter schools to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for certification purposes.