Despite a school year promoting the use of technology in the classroom and for instruction, Newton County School System students have been told to turn off their cellphones and put them away or hand them over to teachers during standardized testing.
Several standardized tests are scheduled for students in elementary and secondary schools this month.
Starting this week, Sept. 9–13, retakes of the Georgia High School Graduation tests will be taken by some high school students; retests for the End-of-Course-Tests will be administered Sept. 9–20; the Cognitive Abilities Test, or CogAT exam, will be administered to NCSS second-graders Sept. 17–19; NCSS sixth graders will take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Sept. 16–20; and all high school juniors will take the Georgia High School Writing Test Sep 25.
In a letter sent to parents and guardians on Sept. 3, Allison Jordan, NCSS director of testing, research and evaluation, said cellphones and electronic devices will not be permitted during testing. The letter states that cellphones and other electronic devices could allow students to access, retain or transmit information. Improper use of such electronic devices during testing will result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Newton County School System’s student code of conduct and test invalidation.
"As stated in the Newton County School System’s code of conduct, all cellphones/electronic devices are to be in the ‘off’ position unless explicitly allowed by the teacher for instructional purposes," the letter said.
"During the administration of standardized assessments, all cellphones/electronic devices must be in the ‘off’ position and stored by the teacher, if brought into a designated testing location. Cellphones/electronic devices will be returned to the student after all testing materials have been collected."
The letter further states that the NCSS prefers for students to leave cellphones /electronic devices at home on testing days and added that the school system will not be liable or responsible for any personally owned electronic devices brought onto school system property.
Jordan said the NCSS will remain committed to promoting the use of technology during instruction, but during assessments students will be expected to follow the guidelines indicated in the code of conduct.