A Milestone For Everyone

By Bronlyn Holland

The Hoof Print (McDonough, Georgia)

In the spring of 2015, every student in Georgia took the new Milestones or an End of Course test. The state of Georgia changed the standardized test from CRCT to GA Milestones. CRCT had all multiple-choice questions in which Georgia’s Board of Education thought was too easy, so they changed it to a little multiple choice and more response questions. This gave the students a challenge while testing. The state is using these results to see growth in students.

 Some students took it online while some had to write it out. Since this was a brand new test, it was harmless to the students and teachers.

There are four levels of results for milestones. In the past, there were only three levels: does not meet, meet and exceeds. These results show if the student is prepared for the next grade and next course. The new levels are: Beginning learner (needs substantial support and remediation); developing learner (student needs additional support); proficient learner (student is on track with learning); distinguished learner (student is well prepared).

Ola High School’s results were higher than the district average but lower than the state average in some areas of the test. “We can’t compare this data to the EOCT for a number of reasons” said David Shedd ,principal. “Both math tests were brand new tests, both English tests were brand new English tests.”

Results were different than what the county and state thought. “Over 65 percent of our kids on the economics test were proficient or distinguished,” stated Shedd

“Here is what we know: the state has raised the bar. They’ve raised the level of expectation for student performance,” stated Shedd. 

Debra O’ Quinn, assistant principal, thought it would be a little tough. “I think all in all our teachers are doing the right thing and they are working on a daily basis to increase the rigor,” stated O’Quinn.  “We are used to EOC, which was all multiple choice… we are moving to some constructed response that are longer.”  O’Quinn said the program had some difficulty, but the state has fixed those issues.

 “The milestones were a different format where there were a lot more … critical thinking. The EOCs were more straight forward unlike traditional tests,” stated Claire Burnett, senior. Issues with the tests were common during this period. “We had a lot of problems with it. It was a difficult adjustment.”

Photo Credit: Unsplash

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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