The state of Georgia will create its own standardized tests for elementary through high school students, after choosing to withdraw from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test development consortium.
In Cherokee County, the change is not expected to have an impact.
“This decision will not have an impact on current instruction plans and the continued implementation of Common Core Georgia Performance Standards,” Barbara Jacoby, schools spokeswoman said Friday. “As the Georgia DOE begins the process to create a new assessment, we will provide input whenever possible.”
Georgia Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said Wednesday the consortium was formed in 2010 by 22 states to create next-generation tests aligned with Common Core Standards.
“Our tests are still going to be very similar; it’s going to be that same level of complexity and rigor,” Cardoza said. “When it comes to whatever test we develop, we learned a lot through being in PARCC.”
State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge and Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that Georgia would seek opportunities to collaborate with other states and work with educators to develop mathematics and English language arts tests aligned with the state’s academic standards.
“After talking with district superintendents, administrators, teachers, parents, lawmakers and members of many communities, I believe this is the best decision for Georgia’s students,” Barge said in a Monday news release. “We must ensure that our assessments provide educators with critical information about student learning and contribute to the work of improving educational opportunities for every student.”
Deal said that assessing students’ performance is critical for ensuring young Georgians can compete with their peers throughout the country.
“Georgia can create an equally rigorous measurement without the high costs associated with this particular test,” Deal said in the news release Monday. “Just as we do in all other branches of state government, we can create better value for taxpayers while maintaining the same level of quality.”
Cardoza said that being part of the consortium didn’t cost anything because it was funded by a federal grant. “It didn’t cost us anything yet,” Cardoza said. “We would’ve been responsible for the administrative cost beginning 2014-15, in addition to the test cost.”
Cardoza said the combined cost for the mathematics and English language arts tests currently cost about $16 to $18 per student. He said the test developed by the consortium was estimated to cost $29.50 per student, and said that Georgia expects the cost of developing their own test to be somewhere in-between the two.
“It’s hard to say what the estimated cost will be now, because we’re just in day two,” Cardoza said. “Now the work begins with going forward and seeing what that test will look like.”
In the Monday news release, Cardoza noted that the Georgia Department of Education will build new assessments that will be:
• Aligned to the math and English language arts state standards;
• High-quality and rigorous;
• Developed for students in third through eighth grade and in high school;
• Reviewed by Georgia teachers;
• Require less time to administer than the PARCC assessments;
• Offered in both computer and paper-based formats; and
• Include a variety of item types, such as performance-based and multiple-choice items.