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Georgia Milestones Assessment System
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones) is a comprehensive summative assessment program spanning grades 3 through high school.
Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state-adopted content standards in English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Students in grades 3 through 8 take an end-of-grade assessment in English Language Arts and mathematics while students in grades 5 and 8 are also assessed in science and social studies. High school students take an end-of-course assessment for each of the ten courses designated by the State Board of Education.
Features the Georgia Milestone Assessment System include:
- open-ended (constructed-response) items in English Language Arts and mathematics (all grades and courses);
- a writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level and course within the English Language Arts assessment;
- norm-referenced items in all content areas and courses, to complement the criterion-referenced information and to provide a national comparison;
- technology-enhanced items including multiple part/multiple answer, graphing, drag and drop; and
- online administration considered the primary mode of administration and paper-pencil as back-up for those students with disabilities identified through the IEP or IAP process that do not allow them to access a computer or device.
What is the purpose of Georgia Milestones?
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System is designed to provide information about how well students are mastering the state-adopted content standards in the core content areas of English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Importantly, Georgia Milestones is designed to provide students with critical information about their own achievement and their readiness for their next level of learning – be it the next grade, the next course, or endeavor (college or career).
Informing parents, educators, and the public about how well students are learning important content is an essential aspect of any educational assessment and accountability system. Parents, the public, and policy makers, including local school districts and boards of education, can use the results as a barometer of the quality of educational opportunity provided throughout the state of Georgia.
As such, Georgia Milestones serves as a key component of the state’s accountability system – the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).
What do the achievement levels mean?
• Beginning Learners: These students do not yet demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at
this grade level, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students need substantial academic support to
be prepared for the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
• Developing Learners: These students demonstrate partial proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at
this grade level, as specified by Georgia’s content standards. The students need additional academic support to
ensure success in the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
• Proficient Learners: These students demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade
level of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are prepared for the next grade level
or course and are on track for college and career readiness.
• Distinguished Learners: These students demonstrate advanced proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary
at this grade level, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are well prepared for the next
grade level or course and are prepared for college and career readiness.
Who developed Georgia Milestones?
Georgia Milestones was designed and developed by the State of Georgia. Importantly, Georgia Milestones is not an
“off-the-shelf” commercial testing program, but rather, a customized program designed to fit the needs of our state and
our students. The development process began over three years ago and directly involved Georgia educators at every
step. Every test item that appears on Georgia Milestones has been reviewed by Georgia educators no fewer than two
times. Now that Georgia Milestones has been launched, Georgia educators will continue to have significant input in the
continued development of the program.
What content areas and grade levels are tested?
Will these scores be used to determine if my student can be promoted to the next grade level?
Yes. State law requires that students in grade 3 earn an At/Above Grade Level designation in reading to be promoted to
fourth grade. In grades 5 and 8, state law requires that students earn an At/Above Grade Level designation in reading as
well as score in the Developing Learner achievement level or above in mathematics to be promoted to the next grade.
You should check with your child’s principal to determine whether your school system has additional promotion criteria.
Students who do not reach the required designations above will have the opportunity to retest. Each district sets their
local retest window during the months of May, June, or July each year. (*)