New waiver means some Georgia students will take fewer tests

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The Gist: The U.S. Department of Education has given Georgia a waiver that will keep some middle school students from unnecessary testing.

What problem does this solve?: Middle school students in Georgia who take high school English Language Arts, math, and science classes early not only have to take middle school end-of-grade tests, but also have to take high school end-of-course tests. This waiver, called the Every Student Succeeds Act flexibility waiver, allows students to forego the duplicate testing.

Which test would the students take?: Students in this situation would take only the high school end-of-course test and not the middle school counterpart test.

When does this take effect?: Immediately. If your middle school student is enrolled in high school classes, the waiver will apply to the spring 2018 milestones testing.

Didn’t we already do this?: Georgia received a similar waiver under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Why was this necessary?: According to State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the state is always looking to reduce any duplicate testing. Here is what he had to say about the waiver:

“We continue to seek every possible opportunity to reduce and avoid duplicative testing and reserve that time for teaching and learning. This also ensures that these students are being assessed by the test that aligns with the instruction they received.”

State School Superintendent Richard Woods

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