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How Atlanta schools get kids psyched for high-stakes tests

There’s a lot riding on the results of the state tests students in Atlanta and across Georgia begin taking this week, so Atlanta teachers were ready with costumes and face paint, pep rallies, and even classroom yoga to get students psyched. 

A common theme across some schools: High-stakes testing as a battle, with school staff dressed in uniforms and camouflage. 

The tests, called the Georgia Milestones, are the major factor in determining a school’s all-important state rating. That rating can determine whether a school is subject to sanctions for low-performance -- or receives accolades as a high-performing school.

Test results are part of the system Georgia uses to evaluate teachers’ job performance. 

And they can play a role in determining if kids are held back in their grade or allowed to move on to the next grade.

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At Peyton Forest Elementary, staff dressed in camouflage t-shirts and face paint to welcome students down a red carpet.


Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy's principal came ready for battle.


Slater Elementary prepared with a little hatha flow.


Long Middle School staff came ready with "You don't want go to war with a soldier" tees.


Humphries Elementary and West Manor Elementary held pep rallies.



And students at Hope-Hill Elementary released dozens of balloons to set free their testing fears. 


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