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State DOE Considering Changes in Testing and Math
Monday, 13 December 2010

December 13--  Some changes may be on the horizon for high school graduation testing and math standards in Georgia.

At a public education meeting in Vidalia, the Associate Superintendent for Standards-Based Learning, Dr. Tom Wilson, says the department may substitute end of course testing for the current system of graduation testing.

"There is a transition study looking at end of course tests versus graduation tests.  If a kid can pass an end of course test in one of the core subjects, then they don't have to take the graduation test, so we're not testing kids when they're a junior on something they learned as a freshman," he told the meeting of educators at Vidalia High School.

Educators also gave Wilson feedback regarding the state's new math standards which they feel some kids can't master. They're afraid it will lead to more students dropping out of high school.

Dr. Wilson says he's hearing the same feedback from teachers around the state and says a reevaluation is in order.

"What is the lowest common denominator, what's the standard we expect every graduate to know. Is it math one, math two or math three?  Currently its math two for this year's sophomores and juniors.  We're not against rigor, but how much and where do we level off for kids who are not traditionally good at math is where we're at as we sort through this," he said.

"And also, you know we have a new state school superintendent and once he's there, he'll weigh in with his vision on where we should go with a new math curriculum," Dr. Wilson said.

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