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State approves lower EOC test percentage

The Georgia Board of Education voted on Dec. 21, and unanimously approved State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ recommendation of a .01percent course grade weight for Georgia Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) exams for the 2020-21 school year.

Prior to the vote the EOC counted for 20 percent of a students’ grade.

The Georgia BOE said they made that decision because of the, “clear need for students and teachers to have the flexibility to focus on learning and remediation – rather than end-of-year, high-stakes tests,” according to a press release.

The Georgia Department of Education applied for a waiver of federal standardized testing requirements for the 2020-21 school year. However, that waiver was denied by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Superintendent Woods recommended to reduce the high-stakes impact of the EOC test to include the recommendation that the score should only count the .01percent.

The unanimous vote means students’ course grades will not be negatively impacted by their score on the Georgia Milestones EOC. Even for exams already administered this fall, school districts may recalculate course grades with the .01 percent weight the release stated.

“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.”

“I continue to believe, and we continue to see indicators, that Georgia’s commitment to compassion over compliance from the onset of this pandemic has been the right path to take,” Superintendent Woods continued. “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.”

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