Cagle made clear this effort is aimed at ending the practice of measuring our students' academic performance with one-size-fits-all testing. Too many educators are pressured to teach to the test while ignoring other valuable indicators of individual student performance. For many students, these tests are failing to accomplish their intended purpose of evaluating student progress.
Cagle's initiative is the first step in a plan to replace Georgia Milestones standardized testing and CCRPI with a complete, objective accountability system. This will empower local schools to take responsibility for the academic performance of their students and incorporate greater community involvement in the classroom.
Senate Bill 362 directs teachers, principals, and supporting faculty to accept individual accountability for our students without being forced to rely on and be measured by one single summative assessment. Individualized learning plans will give our educators a comprehensive view into how our schools are educating students. These newly designed measures will also empower our state to replace duplicative standardized testing for high school students with more relevant assessments like the ACT, SAT, and Accuplacer.
"Georgia's education system should be built around the individual needs of each student - not an outdated standardized testing model," said Lt. Governor Cagle. "It's critical that we stop teaching to the test. Individualized learning plans will lead to measurable academic checkpoints, putting our students first and freeing teachers from bureaucratic mandates."
"Lt. Governor Cagle's vision for education is transforming schools across Georgia, providing our students with even greater opportunities for academic excellence. I'm excited for the future successes our school systems will experience when given true freedom from high-stakes testing and flexibility to adapt their curriculum and lesson plans to the needs of individual students and communities," added Senator Tippins.
The AJC has a story that expands on the legislation and describes prototype formative-to-summative tests already developed by a tiny, rural school system.