CSRA students prepare for the test of the year: the Georgia Milestones

Thursday, May 2, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Gov. Brian Kemp signed three education reform bills into law Thursday, affecting kids from kindergarten all the way to college.

One will make it mandatory for all kindergarteners to be tested for dyslexia. Another requires all Georgia high schools to offer computer science courses. The third will extend eligibility for the Hope Scholarship from 7 to 10 years starting this July.

All this went on while teachers and students get ready for the Georgia Milestones -- the test that can determine if some kids move on to the next grade.

They really prepare the whole year by teaching students and then testing them to gauge their progress before the milestones even arrive.

On Monday, Richmond County students from 3rd grade to high school will start taking the tests.

“It's the biggest summit of assessment that we give our students and so what that allows our teachers to do is to see what the students have learned, what they've mastered so that we know how to plan their instruction for them in their future years,” Malinda Cobb, the Richmond County associate superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and technology, said.

Cobb might be a schools administrator, but she’s also a mom.

“I have a second grader whose been hearing his friends talk about the assessment and asking me lots of questions about what it will be like next year,” Cobb said.

She's assured him he’ll be ready when he does take the milestones.

"I said you are already prepared everything you've been doing since Pre-K has you ready to take that assessment next year,” Cobb said.

Cobb says teachers have a cycle for getting their students ready.

“What we've done all year to prepare is quality instruction in our classroom with our students, trying to make sure that we constantly teach, we assess, we see what the students mastered, what they didn't, we reteach when necessary,” Cobb said.

And they've also practiced using the online system for the milestones. It's the first time they'll be 100 percent electronic. Last year, 80 percent were.

“We do online assessments now so the students are used to that, they have the opportunity to go online and write and edit which is a component of the milestones at every grade level,” Cobb said.

As testing time approaches, Cobb says parents should allow their students to relax.

“This week we say relax a little, encourage the students to just do their best,” Cobb said.

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