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May 11, 2016

Newton County School System will administer retests for Georgia Milestones End of Grade assessments May 18-24, to students in grades three, five, and eight, who did not demonstrate proficiency in reading and math on their first attempt. This is contingent on the State providing results of these tests prior the end of the current school year.

“We were very disappointed with the numerous issues—most beyond the district’s control—that students had to contend with during the first administration,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “We documented and reported to the State multiple problems encountered during the online administration and subsequently received word from the State that Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) was working to correct these issues. Unfortunately, many of our students were negatively impacted by problems such as not being able to log in, stalled tests, and frozen screens. Due to the high-stakes implications of the Milestones in grades three, five, and eight, our students were understandably upset.”

Because of similar reports of technology issues from districts across the State, the Georgia Department of Education announced that the State Board of Education voted to waive the promotion, placement, and retention requirements which are contingent up the Milestones results for students in grades three, five, and eight. Fuhrey noted that students still must meet all other requirements for promotion. The retests administered in NCSS will not be used for promotion and retention decisions.

“We will use the retest results to gain an understanding of what our students know with regard to reading and math,” said Fuhrey. “These results will provide us with important information so teachers can plan for the needs of our students in the coming school year.”

Fuhrey added, “So that students don’t get anxious about taking the online tests again, we have opted for the paper and pencil version for the retests.”