Above, State Rep. Rick Jasperse, at the right of Governor Brian Kemp. Kemp signed legislation decreasing the number of Milestone tests in Georgia schools.
Chairman of the House Education Committee Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), working with the Senate and Georgia Department of Education, helped create and passed SB 367 that would reduce Milestones testing in our schools. HB 367 was recently signed by Governor Kemp into law at the capitol. It eliminates five of the mandatory Milestones tests in public schools, dropping the total required to 19 from the current 24. SB 367 does away with one elementary school test: social studies in fifth grade. The other four cover math, science, social studies and language arts in high school. There are currently two tests for each of those subjects, and now there will be one. This bill is response to the concerns of parents and teachers about the negative impacts of excessive high stakes testing.
Other changes are that tests in elementary and middle school be given within 25 school days of summer break. The intent is to maximize teaching days, since time after testing is often not as productive and schools have such flexibility in start and end times. There is also a new requirement that the Georgia Department of Education publish a report each year that uses “aggregated data” from schools to compare the academic performance of students in Georgia against that of students in other states. Good to say in these days that the bill passed both the Senate and House with a unanimous “yes” vote. “As chairman of the House Education Committee, it was rewarding to work with all of our committee members, both Republican and Democrat, to improve the educational experience for our educators and families.”