Georgia students outperform national average on ACT

The Georgia Department of Education opened a public survey on Monday about high-stakes testing in the public schools, the first step in seeking permission to waive the exams again during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under federal law, Georgia must administer its Milestones standardized tests in third grade through high school, but the U.S. Department of Education waived the requirement last spring as schools reeled from closures due to COVID-19.

The Atlanta Journal – Constitution reported yesterday that Georgia wants U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to continue that waiver into the next school year. State leaders say Georgia will instead offer an optional low-stakes test called BEACON┬áto identify children who are falling behind.

Unlike the Milestones, which come once after a semester course or a school year, BEACON can be given repeatedly through the year to allow teachers to see which state standards their students need more help learning. Also, unlike with the Milestones, BEACON would not be used to judge the teachers and their schools.