Multiple problems, including inability to log in, stalled tests and frozen screens, were thought to effect the test results of third, fifth and eighth grade students of the Newton County School System (NCSS) who did not demonstrate proficiency in reading and math on their first attempt.
The test was the Georgia Milestones End of Grade assessments, which is designed to give educators insights into students understanding and retention of math and English curriculum. The test is part of determining whether a student will be promoted to the next grade or not.
The test will be given between May 18 and 24 provided the state shares results of the test prior to 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.
Fuhrey said multiple problems were documented and reported to the state. Later, the state said the Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) was working to correct the 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 contingent up the Milestones results for third-, fifth- and eighth-grade students. Students still must meet all other requirements for promotion, Fuhrey said. 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,” Fuhrey said. “These results will provide us with important information so teachers can plan for the needs of our students in the coming school year.
“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,” she said.