Georgia Milestones Results 2021

NCSS Announces 2020-2021 Georgia Milestones Results
Posted on 08/16/2021
Georgia MilestonesNOTE: The news media and public should not make year-to-year comparisons using the state-level data, due to changes in students’ learning environments and differences in participation. In general, year-to-year comparisons should not be made using school- and district-level data.

Georgia Milestones test scores were released today for Newton County Schools and the state. These scores should be interpreted in context due to the COVID-19 pandemic and differences in participation.

The Georgia Department of Education is encouraging educators, parents, and communities to remember that the Georgia Milestones tests were designed to measure the performance of students in a typical educational environment, so results should be interpreted in the context of the pandemic and associated learning disruptions, along with varying access to instruction. The scores were released along with participation data, since some students did not participate in testing last year due to the pandemic.

Scores from Newton County School System show that of the students who participated, 54% were at or above grade level in English Language Arts, 50% were at or above grade level in Math, 45% were at or above grade level in science, and 72% demonstrated mastery in social studies.

Overall, 49% of enrolled Newton County School System students participated in Georgia Milestones testing during the 2020-21 school year. This was largely due to conditions created by the pandemic. Guidance issued by State School Superintendent Richard Woods made clear, in line with federal guidance, that school districts should not require virtual students to come into the building solely for the purpose of taking Georgia Milestones if they were uncomfortable doing so due to the pandemic, and should ensure parents understood this option was available to them.

“The 2020-2021 school year was a challenging one for both students and school staff,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Superintendent of Newton County School System. “I am proud of how our students responded to the various learning models and interruptions they experienced over the course of the school year; they are resilient! With the help, support, and guidance of our dedicated teachers, school leaders, and support staff, I anticipate our students will have great success this school year. We have already begun the process of identifying areas of opportunity for our students to receive additional support, and look forward to collaborating with our parents as we work to meet the needs of all students.”

“Georgia Milestones was designed to measure instruction during a typical school year, and 2020-2021 was anything but,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Rolling quarantines, rising case counts, and shifting instructional models impacted the educational experience for students throughout the state. Given all this – along with statewide differences in participation – we expected some decreases this year. Georgia educators and students have worked extremely hard and these results do not reflect or diminish their efforts. With educators already working to get students back on track and the vast majority of school districts offering five days a week of in-person instruction this year, I’m confident students will receive the support they need to make up any lost ground.”

While test scores provide information on students’ performance, they are not the only way we measure student learning. The Newton County School System strives to respond to students’ academic performance in meaningful and substantive ways. The district has a formative assessment plan, which includes the administration of district benchmark assessments and school-level assessments. These benchmark assessments provide information on a student’s performance as he or she works through the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Additionally, the district administers the IOWA test as a universal screener at the beginning of the school year, which provides diagnostic and prescriptive data to classroom teachers. To respond to loss of learning opportunity, schools are implementing high-frequency tutoring programs and utilizing academic intervention paraprofessionals that have been assigned to each school. Additionally, academic enrichment programs across all grades were held during the summer and will continue each year. Finally, the district continues to bolster its Multi-Tiered System of Supports program at each school.

Students take Georgia Milestones End of Grade (EOG) tests in grades three through eight, and End of Course (EOC) tests in identified high school courses. The Georgia Milestones assessment system meets the federal requirement that states test students in math and ELA in grades 3-8 and once in high school, and in science once per grade band (3-5, 6-8, 9-12).