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Monroe County Schools prepares students for Milestones test in spring

State Superintendent, Richard Woods, says the United States Department of Education will not waive testing requirements for 2021.

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — The state superintendent says the United States Department of Education will not waive testing requirements for 2021, meaning students will have to take the Georgia Milestones assessment this spring.

Last spring, the State Department of Education decided students were not required to take the assessment.

The annual test intends to show how well Georgia students are learning core subjects.

The Monroe County school district sent a newsletter Tuesday evening, stating that they'll administer the Georgia Milestones tests this spring.

Kylah Castlin has a sixth and seventh grader.

"I do understand that it is a big necessity, but being offered in the spring? I feel kind of up and down about it, simply because there were so many kids that had trouble with the internet, who have had different parental issues where their parents may have been sick, or they may have been sick," Castlin said.

Castlin's children participated in virtual learning for most of the school year, but she still feels that they are prepared for this test.

She says this is because she was accessible when her children needed help, but that may not be the case for all students.

"I can only imagine the headache, the hold up, the missing assignments, and the missed content that they were constantly having to jump through hoops with being virtual learners," Castlin said.

Assistant Superintendent, Alicia Elder, says teachers have been teaching to the state's content standards all year. Virtually and in-person, in hopes of better preparing students.

Parents, students and teachers can also use the Georgia experience website to prepare.

"This is a public website that students and parents can access in order for students to experience first hand the functionality of the online testing platform," Elder said.

"I know that Monroe County is going to do the best that they can. I have full faith that the accommodations made, will be in the best interest of our students," Castlin said.

Kylah Castlin also says taking this test in the Spring will show exactly where the state falls education wise, and that it might actually prepare educators and students for the post pandemic academic standards.  

The letter from state superintendent, Richard Woods, said the state had already reduced the high-stakes nature of the testing this year.

He added, the state board of education approved his recommendation so that poor test results won't drag down students' grades.