Anybody besides DeKalb still waiting on Milestones test scores? DOE explains its process.

Credit: Maureen Downey

Credit: Maureen Downey

In response to my questions about the Georgia Milestones, the state Department of Education sent me a FAQ I am posting below.

Please note the state is now calling its grade 3 through 8 tests End of Grade or EOG; the high school exams are called End of Course or EOC. They all come under the general Georgia Milestones banner. (I am finding parents are confused about these new names.)

A DeKalb teacher sent me a note last night: “School ends tomorrow, our last day of work is Friday; still no 9th grade lit or American lit EOC scores that determine 20 percent of a student's grade. Is this just in DeKalb or is this all around the state? Did the DOE and the scoring company determine a date by which the tests would be finished?"

From the DOE answers below, it would appear the agency did establish dates but clearly something went wrong that DeKalb is getting its scores this late in the game.

Here is what DOE sent to clarify the confusion:

I heard that the Georgia Milestones End of Grade (EOG) scores were thrown out for students in grades 3 – 8. Why isn’t the state doing the same for the EOC?

The state did not throw out the EOG scores. The State Board of Education waived the use of the scores in promotion and retention decisions for students in grades 3, 5, and 8. Importantly, only the use of the scores for a very specific purpose – promotion and retention in grades 3, 5, and 8 – was waived. This action was taken in an abundance of caution given some local school districts reported technology-related interruptions with online testing. While some of these events were short-term and quickly resolved with minimal impact to student experiences, others required more extensive technical support. Interruptions such as those that occurred during the EOG administration did not occur during the EOC administration.

Did schools experience online testing interruptions during the EOC administration?

While there were occasional interruptions experienced by a few schools, such interruptions were rare during the EOC administration. Those that did occur were the result of isolated specific circumstances that were not experienced statewide. One such example was the loss of Internet service due to a cable being severed. In these rare instances, the  department worked with districts so that students could

complete their tests.

If a student was interrupted were his/her responses lost?

No. The online platform has a mechanism that allows student responses to be cached (or saved). Once the student is able to log back in to the test session, he/she returns to the last test item he/she was working on.

In some districts, it appears that EOC scores are delayed and arriving later than in past years. Is this the case, and if so, why is that happening?

Scores for the high school EOC began to post on Tuesday, May 10th, for science and social studies courses (Physical Science, Biology, US History, and Economics) and on Tuesday, May 17th, for language arts and mathematics (9th Grade Literature, American Literature, Coordinate Algebra, Algebra I, Analytic Geometry, and Geometry). These postings began in the timeframe communicated to districts at the beginning of the school year. Scores continue to post on a daily basis.

Given the variety of school schedules, including graduation ceremonies, it was necessary to establish priorities. These priorities included the date schools close and the date their seniors graduate. While the scoring of Georgia tests in previous years occurred in a shorter timeframe, it is important to consider that Georgia Milestones includes items in which students must write their responses. This requires additional time to score, but we are committed to working to shorten the timeframe and getting scores back to districts as quickly as possible while ensuring Georgia continues to have an assessment that goes beyond just multiple-choice items.

When will schools receive score reports?

Schools receive scores based on when they tested and when they are scheduled to end their school year. As previously mentioned, priority was given to graduating seniors based on school closing dates.

When will parents receive score reports?

Score reports will be printed and shipped to school districts in July. Prior to the shipment of the printed reports, districts and schools receive electronic copies of student scores and may communicate the results to parents through their typical process.