Report: Georgia Deceived Parents With Old Testing System | WABE 90.1 FM

Report: Georgia Deceived Parents With Old Testing System

May 19, 2015

A national study by Achieve found Georgia's old test, the CRCT, had the lowest passing standards in the country.
Credit Judy Baxter / flickr.com/judybaxter

Georgia deceived parents under the state’s former testing system when it said kids “met standards” in math and reading. That’s according to a new national report that found Georgia had some of the lowest criteria in the country.

The report found Georgia’s old state test, the CRCT, was too simple. In some cases, it was 60 percent easier to pass than national tests, such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Georgia education officials admitted that the report's findings were accurate.

“As we know, and as has been published widely, Georgia has the lowest achievement expectations in the country,” said Melissa Fincher, Georgia’s Deputy Superintendent of assessment and accountability in an interview last year.

The state rolled out a new, more rigorous test this year, Georgia Milestones. But now some are complaining that test is too hard.

“You’re expecting them to be like little college freshmen with the way they’re supposed to write and it’s very formulaic,” said Kay Draper Hutchinson, who withdrew two of her children from the test.

It’s a challenge for officials to figure out how tough a new test should be, said Dana Rickman, director of policy and research at the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

“It is, I think, significantly more rigorous than the old test,” Rickman said. “So it’s an adjustment period for teachers, for parents, for students. And I think it’s one where we’re going to have to wait and see once we get the first set of results where that line really needs to be.”

Officials say the Milestones results will come in in the fall.