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Georgia board aims for tests to count for 10% of student grades

 Standardized test with a yellow pencil and report card on a wooden desktop.
Standardized test with a yellow pencil and report card on a wooden desktop. (WSAW)
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 8:28 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Under a proposal by state Superintendent Richard Woods, students in Georgia public high schools would have faced no consequences for failing statewide standardized tests for at least one year.

In his proposal, Woods wanted the state Board of Education to zero out how much exams in algebra, American literature and composition, biology and U.S. History count in a student’s grade.

Currently, tests count for 20 percent of a student’s course grade. Under Woods' plan, they would have counted for a fraction of 1 percent.

But in a split vote Thursday (8-4 with some members not present), the board voted to reject Woods' for the 2020-21 school year.

The board then proposed a 10% course weight for the 2020-21 school year.

Woods issued a statement, saying:

While I respect each member of the State Board of Education, I strongly disagree with the majority’s decision in this matter.

Similar to the federal directive to administer standardized tests in the middle of a pandemic, insisting on high-stakes consequences for those tests is unreasonable and insensitive to the realities of the classroom. I am confident our high-school students whose GPAs and scholarships are riding on this decision would agree that a 10% weight is still high-stakes.

I encourage all Georgians, whether they agree or disagree with my view, to provide their feedback through the public-comment process and let their voice be heard.

The board’s proposal will be posted for public comment, and that information will be shared as soon as it is available.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this report.