Troup County School System ramps up Georgia milestones campaign

Contributed report

LaGRANGE — Recently, Georgia received state scores from the 2014-15 Georgia Milestones Assessment System, or GMAS. Local school districts have not yet received individual scores.

Troup County School System is expected to receive results later this fall and is launching a series of videos and social messages to help educate staff, students, parents and the community about GMAS and soon-to-be-released individual student scores.

Since this is the first administration of GMAS, as expected, the statewide results show a steep drop in student achievement levels.

“These results show a lower level of student proficiency than Georgians are used to seeing, but that does not mean Georgia students know less or that teachers are not doing a great job — it means they’ve been asked to clear a higher bar,” said state school Superintendent Richard Woods in a press release. “Our previous assessment, the CRCT, set some of the lowest expectations for student proficiency in the nation, and that cannot continue. Georgia Milestones sets higher standards for our students and evens the playing field with the rest of the nation — and that’s essential if our students are going to succeed in college and their chosen careers, both of which are nationally competitive arenas. We will continue to increase our supports for both students and teachers to ensure this test is more meaningful for all involved.”

With GMAS, there are four achievement levels: beginning learner, developing learner, proficient learner and distinguished learner. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in language arts and science, no grade or course has more than 10 percent of Georgia students scoring in the top category of distinguished learner. In math and science, the vast majority of Georgia students — more than 60 percent across all courses and grades — are either beginning or developing learners.

“Proactive sharing of any information is important, especially when it relates to test results,” said Yolanda Stephen, director of public relations for TCSS. “We will use videos, email blasts, quick tips, website postings and Facebook messages as part of this campaign. Our goal is to see a positive sharing of information to help educate the broader community. After results are released, we will host parent events throughout the system to provide the one-on-one dialogue that may be needed to go into greater detail.”

More information is available at troup.org and the Troup County School System Facebook page.

From a press release submitted by Troup County School System.