Important Changes Affecting Georgia Students
Georgia Test Glossary
from the 9-2-14 AJC article “State officials reduce first-year impact of new standardized exam”
CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Test): The standardized test that was given to students in third through eighth grades in reading, english,/language arts, math, science, and social studies. Last year was the final year of the CRCT; it’s being replaced by a new, tougher test called the Georgia Milestones Assessment.
EOCT (end-of-course tests): Typically given to high school students in several courses determined by the state board of education, including coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, U.S. history and more. These count as the final exam and make up 15 percent to 20 percent of the student’s final grade. Also being replaced this year by the Georgia Milestones Assessment.
Georgia Milestones: The new standardized test that will be offered to Georgia students beginning this school year . It is expected to be more rigorous than the CRCT and will include more open-ended questions.
GHSGT (Georgia High School Graduation Test): This is the last year high school students will be required to pass this test before earning a diploma. The exam has been phased out, although students still have to take and pass the Georgia High School Writing Test. The state board of education will vote soon on whether to eliminate the writing test.
NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress): Called “the nation’s report card,” the NAEP is one of the few tests given nationally that allows for comparison of state-to-state academic performance. It’s given periodically in reading, math, science, writing and other subjects. Typically, only statewide results, no district – or school-level results, are released for the NAEP.
Students Required to Choose Career Pathways
The objective of changing all students’ graduation track to a career-based one is to raise their career and college readiness. Experts believe that this student graduation track change will expose students to seriously considering what they want to do in life by being exposed to different career options. This change is hopeful in improving graduation rates and stemming the number of students dropping out by making school more relevant and applicable to what all students need at some point: a career.
High School Changes
This school year, Georgia is instituting Career Pathways. All freshmen entering high school will choose one graduation pathway from 17 Career Clusters. Following a national trend, Georgia wil also require ninth graders to follow a class schedule that is at least, moderately, tailored to that career path. Students will have to complete a four-year graduation plan in order to earn a high school diploma.
HOPE Requirements for Students Graduating After May 1, 2015
In addition to Georgia students completing their career pathway courses, to be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship, they are also going to need to take rigorous college preparation courses as well as Advanced Placement, International, Baccalaureate or dual enrollment college courses. The high school class of 2015 will have to have earned at least two full credits from the state rigorous course list to qualify for HOPE. The class of 2016 will have to complete three rigorous course credits, and the class of 2017 and all graduating classes thereafter in Georgia will have to complete at least four course credits from the rigor list.
Middle School Changes
Students completing the 8th grade will be required to select a specialized track for the duration of their high school career that is categorized by various career options. While in middle school, students will participate in job shadowing and the career explorer post program, and will receive that throughout the year, in addition to elementary school students.
Elementary School Changes
Elementary schools are required to inform and provide career awareness programs to shift student focus toward career preparation and to give students an idea bout the various careers. Starting as early as fifth grade, teachers will start talking to students about potential career options and opportunities.