Current Georgia Assessments
The purpose of the Georgia Student Assessment Program is to measure student achievement of the state-adopted content standards and inform efforts to improve teaching and learning. Results of the assessment program are utilized to identify students failing to achieve mastery of content, to provide teachers with feedback about instructional practice, and to assist school districts in identifying strengths and weaknesses in order to establish priorities in planning educational programs.
The assessment program currently consists of the Georgia Milestones Assesment System and the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) for students with cognitive disabilities.
What is Georgia Milestones?
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System was introduced in 2014-2015 to replace former state assessments.
Georgia Milestones is a comprehensive assessment program spanning grades 3 through high school. Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state-adopted content standards in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Features of the Georgia Milestone Assessment System include:
- open-ended (constructed-response) items in language arts and mathematics (all grades and courses);
- a writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level and course within the language arts assessment;
- norm-referenced items in all content areas and courses, to complement the criterion-referenced information and to provide a national comparison; and
- transition to online administration over time, with online administration considered the primary mode of administration and paper/pencil as back-up until the transition is complete.
Students in grades 3-8 take an end-of-grade (EOG) assessment in each content area, while high school students take an end-of-course (EOC) assessment for each of the ten courses designated by the State Board of Education.
What are End-of-Grade (EOG) assessments?
Students in grades 3 through 8 will take an end-of-grade (EOG) assessment in four content areas:
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
These tests are administered towards the end of the school year, typically in April or early May. Each school district selects a local testing window from within the state designated timeframe to administer the EOG assessment.
What are End-of-Course (EOC) assessments?
Students at the high school level take ten end-of-course (EOC) assessments across four content areas:
- Language Arts
- Ninth Grade Literature and Composition
- American Literature and Composition
- Algebra I/Coordinate Algebra
- Geometry/Analytic Geometry
- Physical Science
- Social Studies
- United States History
- Economics/Business/Free Enterprise
The EOC tests are administered at the completion of the course, regardless of the grade level. Starting in 2015-2016, thes test results serve as the final exam for the course, and contribute 20% to the student’s final course grade. Middle school students who are enrolled in one or more of these courses are required to take the associated EOC assessment. Middle school students enrolled in a math and/or science EOC course (i.e., Algebra I) do not take the EOG assessment for the corresponding content area.
- Language Arts
What does my child's achievement level indicate?
The achievement levels describe how well students have learned the knowledge and skills addressed in the content standards for each grade level and provide an indication of how ready a student is to move on to the next grade level. Georgia Milestones reports student achievement in four levels:
- Beginning Learners: These students do not yet demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
- Developing Learners: Theses students demonstrate partial proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this course of learning, as specified by Georgia’s content standards. The students need additional academic support to ensure success in the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
- Proficient Learners: These students demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are prepared for the next grade level or course and are on track for college and career readiness.
- Distinguished Learners: These student demonstrate advanced proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are well prepared for the next grade level or course and are prepared for college and career readiness.
For more information, click here.
What are Lexile measures?
A Lexile measure is a standard score that matches a student’s reading ability with difficulty of text material. A Lexile measure can be interpreted as the level of book that a student can read with 75% comprehension. Experts have identified a 75% comprehension level as offering the reader a certain amount of comfort and yet still offering a challenge. The Lexile® map shows Lexile measures ranging between approximately 200L and 1700L. However, some reading materials and readers do have Lexile measures below 200L and may have a code of BR* for beginning reader.
Lexile Measures indicate a student’s reading ability on the Lexile scale. Many books have a Lexile measure, allowing identification of books that are at an appropriate reading level for a student, as well as provide some challenge to improve their reading skills. For more information and additional resources, visit the GaDOE website.
What is the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA)?
The Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) is a key component of the Georgia Student Assessment Program. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), states must ensure that all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, have access to a general curriculum that encompasses challenging academic standards. States must also ensure that all students are assessed for their progress toward meeting academic standards. Students with significant cognitive disabilities may be assessed via an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards, as determined by the students’ IEP team. The US Department of Education (USED) defines an alternate achievement standard as one that “sets an expectation of performance that differs in complexity from a grade-level achievement standard." Alternate achievement standards must be aligned to state academic content standards, although they may reflect prerequisite or entry-level skills.
Beginning in the fall of 2006, a portfolio of student work samples was used to capture student learning and achievement/progress in the four content areas (English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies). The focus is on academic content and skills.
- Kindergarten student develop a portfolio in English Language Arts and mathematics; however there is no portfolio for grades 1 and 2.
- Grades 3-8 and 11 develop a portfolio in English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
The GAA portfolio entries are scored on four discrete dimensions:
- Fidelity to Standard assesses the degree to which the student’s work addresses the grade-level standard to which it is aligned;
- Context assesses the degree to which the student work exhibits the use of grade-appropriate materials in a purposeful and natural/real-world application;
- Achievement/Progress assesses the increase in the student’s proficiency of skill across the two collection periods; and
- Generalization assesses the student’s opportunity to apply the learned skill in other settings and with various individuals in addition to the teacher or paraprofessional across all content areas assessed.
How is my child's GAA performance level reported?
In addition to rubric scores, student achievement on the GAA is reported in terms of three performance levels:
- Emerging Progress: based on evidence in the portfolio, the student is beginning to demonstrate an understanding of fundamental skills and knowledge aligned to grade-appropriate standards.
- Established Progress: based on evidence in the portfolio, the student demonstrates an understanding of fundamental skills and knowledge aligned to grade-appropriate standards.
- Extending Progress: based on evidence in the portfolio, the student demonstrates an increased understanding of fundamental skills and knowledge aligned to grade-appropriate standards.
When are the portfolio collection periods?
Achievement/Progress is documented in two collection periods during a school year. The first collection period provides evidence of a student’s entry-level performance (initial performance of the skill); the second collection period provides evidence of a student’s achievement/progress to date.
The collection period window between the first collection period and the second collection period is a minimum of three weeks to a maximum of five months.
Why are these results different from the GaDOE press release or CCRPI?
The Report Card assessment results include all students tested at any time during the school year for a given assessment by school, district, and state. If a student has more than one test score during the school year, the high score is reported.
The GaDOE press releases include only students who tested during the testing window mentioned in the press release, such as Winter or Spring.
The performance on Georgia Milestones as reported in the CCRPI and in performance targets only includes students who are enrolled for the “Full Academic Year” (FAY). In elementary and middle schools, FAY is calculated by determining if the student was enrolled 65% of the number of days from the start date of the year to the close of the state testing window. For high school students, FAY is calculated by determining if a student was enrolled in a course 65% of the number of days from the start date of the course to the end date of the course. Students taking a GAA are considered FAY if they are enrolled 65% of the number of days from the first day of school to the close of the GAA window. Given this definition, it is possible for students who move schools during the school year to be considered FAY in one school and test in another school. Another distinction between the Report Card and CCRPI assessment results is that the CCRPI reports the Georgia Alternative Assessment (GAA), EOC, and EOG results combined, whereas the Report Card reports the results separately by test. In addition, any EOC taken in middle school counts both in the middle school assessment results for the current year and in the high school results when that student is a ninth grade student. Finally, in line with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, recently arrived English Language Learners are not included in CCRPI results but are included in the Report Card assessment results. For more information on the business rules used for the Georgia Milestones performance used in the CCRPI, click here.