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All On Georgia previously reported the origin of a bill to allow parents the right for allowing their child to take paper-pencil based tests as an alternative to online state testing. The GA Department of Education is moving to have all students take their tests online by 2018. However,  in the last two years, technical problems have continued to plague the administration of the state’s mandated test called the Georgia Milestones, which replaced the CRCT and EOCT in their respective grade levels.

In the last two years, the Milestones has been riddled with technical problems and caused State School Superintendent Richard Woods to negotiate the entire $100 plus million dollar contract in 2015. During this time, grade promotion and retention policies for school districts have been waived due to problems associated with the testing administration.

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HB 425, filed by Representative Joyce Chandler (R-Grayson), passed last night by the House of Representatives with a vote of 151-18. The bill allows parents the option for a paper-pencil test, regardless of the student’s educational status. Currently, some school districts only allow students with a documented disability to take high-stakes tests via paper-pencil, but the GA Department of Education’s goal is to have all tests administered online. The bill further asks for the State School Superintendent to provide guidance to schools about eliminating “sit-and-stare” policies during testing which shall not accompany any punitive action on the students who do not participate.

The bill does not allow for complete opt-out of testing, but only the request of paper-pencil formats or approved alternative forms.

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Jeremy Spencer is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden  and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus will be local news, statewide education issues, and political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as a education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns.

Jeremy grew up in rural Southern Georgia and he has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, and a state education official.  Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. He and his wife have lived in Camden County for 16 years and they have two teenage children. Jeremy and his family attend Christ Church Camden in Kingsland, GA.

camden@allongeorgia.com

 

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