The Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) unanimously voted to approve State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ recommendation of a .01 percent course grade weight for Georgia Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) exams for the 2020-21 school year.
The exam is a part of state and federal requirement. According to Meghan Frick of the GaDOE Communications Office, it is a federal requirement to take one-time exams – from third grade to senior year – in math, English language arts, science, and social studies.
Woods proposed earlier in the year to relax federal requirements for standardized tests due to the pandemic but was denied by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Due to the impact COVID-19, students and teachers had to adapt to the new regulations and procedures to focus on new ways of learning and teaching in a virtual manner; instructed by the state and DOE.
“I wish to thank the State Board of Education for their unanimous support of this proposal,” Superintendent Woods said. “I firmly believe this is the right thing for kids – we must ensure students and teachers are not penalized for circumstances beyond their control.”
A public survey was conducted by the Department and participants had a total of three choices to choose from for course grade weight:
- 20 percent
- 10 percent
- .01 percent
Frick said that the survey was not limited and that students, teachers, parents, and concerned citizens took part. The exam initially counted towards 20 percent of students’ cumulative grade. But last month, the DOE changed the exam weight to 10 percent.
From the survey, they received 93,079 responses with 86.31 percent said the weight should be .01 percent, 11.35 percent said it should be 10 percent, and 2.34 percent said it should be 20 percent.
“As I’ve said since the beginning, who we are will be measured not by a test score, but by how we meet this moment, which is why we plan to resubmit our request for federal testing and accountability waivers to the U.S. Department of Education,” Woods said.
The Georgia Department of Education plan to reapply for the waiver request in the early months of the New Year.
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