Education

Testing Delays Cause Some Ga. Students To Wait For Grades

In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a sign is seen at the entrance to a hall for a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School. The current version of the SAT college entrance exam is having its final run, when thousands of students nationwide will sit, squirm or stress through the nearly four-hour reading, writing and math test. A new revamped version debuts in March. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a sign is seen at the entrance to a hall for a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School. The current version of the SAT college entrance exam is having its final run, when thousands of students nationwide will sit, squirm or stress through the nearly four-hour reading, writing and math test. A new revamped version debuts in March. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Credit Alex Brandon / Associated Press

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School is out for most Atlanta-area students, but some high schoolers may have to wait for their final grades. The state has taken longer than expected to issue Georgia Milestones scores to schools. 

The test, which is aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, is given yearly to students in grades 3-8.

For high school students, Georgia Milestones acts as an end-of-course test. Students take the exam after completing a core subject. By law, the test counts for 20 percent of their final grade in the class. The Georgia Department of Education says some of those end-of-course test scores won’t be available until at least next week.

“There’s been a lot of aggravation and frustration just with the Milestones testing this year,” says Craig Harper, a spokesperson for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. “[Teachers didn’t know] when scores were going to come back, whether the scores were going to be considered valid. Then there was an allowance, or waiver, to use them for promotion and retention.”

Georgia Milestones would normally determine promotion for students in third, fifth and eighth grades. Due to testing interruptions caused by technology problems at some schools, the State Board of Education waived that requirement this year.

The Georgia Department of Education has posted FAQs about the end-of-course (high school) and end-of-grade (middle and elementary schools) scores. It’s unclear whether the delay will interfere with any high school graduations.