Georgia school systems may soon have the option of throwing out the yardstick they have used in the past to measure student progress against others in the nation.
Next year, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will be the test which measures Georgia's curriculum nationally, rather than the Norm-Referenced Test.
Thursday, the state Board of Education approved a resolution asking Gov. Roy Barnes to change the Norm-Referenced Testing guidelines to allow local boards to decide if they also want to administer to Norm Referenced - commonly known as the Stanford 9.
"It sounds like it's a resolution at this point, but it's encouraging that the state board is realizing that we are administering a lot of tests," said Columbia County School Superintendent Tommy Price. "While they are important, there does need to be a sense of reason of when is enough enough."
Those systems deciding to give the Norm Referenced Test would still receive state funds budgeted for this purpose, and local systems would also be allowed to pick from a list of vendors. They could also pick from a spring or fall administration of the test.
Currently, the Norm-Referenced Test is given in the spring to grades 3,5, and 8. Georgia students in k-8 also take the Criterion Reference Competency Test which measures their knowledge of Georgia's curriculum.
"I do like the fact that you have the option of fall versus spring testing where you can minimize the impact of testing on your instructional program in the spring," Price said.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is under the umbrella of U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, is also known as "the Nation's Report Card." It test student performance in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography and the arts.
Rather than assigning a grade to individual test takers or schools, the NAEP offers achievement results bases on populations of students (such as fourth-graders) and subgroups of those populations (such as female students, Hispanic students).
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.