Gov. Kemp Seeks to Reduce High-Stakes K-12 Testing
Atlanta, GA - Today Governor Brian P. Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp were joined by State School Superintendent Richard Woods, Senator P.K. Martin (R - Lawrenceville), members of the General Assembly, and other special guests to announce legislation to reduce high-stakes K-12 testing in Georgia.
“Too often, our educators – who are literally on the front lines of serving the next generation – feel like they’re not heard,” said Governor Kemp. “With the introduction of this legislation, our message is clear: we hear you, and we have your back. By reducing high-stakes testing, we will remove heavy burdens in the classroom for our teachers and students. This bill will work to restore parents’ peace of mind about their children’s education, and let educators focus on what they do best: teaching our children.”
“I strongly support the legislation announced by Governor Brian Kemp today, which would lower the number and weight of high-stakes tests in Georgia and maximize time for instruction," said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. "As a former teacher, and as someone who has spoken with hundreds of Georgia’s classroom teachers over the last five years, I believe so strongly that our students and teachers are worth more than the results of one test, taken on one day, during one school year. That’s what this legislation is about.
"We are responding to the persistent and urgent concerns raised by classroom teachers, students, and parents, who have been sounding the alarm about the negative impacts of excessive high-stakes testing for years. We are saying, loud and clear, that it’s the teacher, not the test, that makes a difference. I am proud to partner with Governor Kemp and Senator P.K. Martin to address this critical issue head-on, and I thank them for hearing and acting upon the concerns raised by students, parents, and teachers."
"To empower our educators and ensure bright futures for Georgia students, we must take action to remove unnecessary obstacles to classroom learning. Repetitive, high-stakes tests are stressful, often fail to capture a student's true abilities, and - in many cases - do not improve educational outcomes. We need to strike the right balance. I'm honored to work with Governor Kemp, Superintendent Woods, the educational community, and my colleagues in the General Assembly to pass this legislation and make a real difference in the lives of families across Georgia," said State Senate Education and Youth Chairman P.K. Martin.
“I commend Governor Kemp on today’s announcement regarding the proposed reduction in the number of assessments students will be required to take in public schools. The issue of ‘too much testing’ has been heard repeatedly from parents, teachers, and students in recent years, and it is encouraging to see the Governor take the lead in addressing their concerns," said Gwinnett County Public Schools Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks. "Assessment is a crucial and valuable component of the teaching and learning process, but its worth is being diminished in the face of criticism over the amount of testing now required. The Governor has listened to the concerns and offered a reasonable response. His proposal will allow school districts to continue measuring student learning and meet the U.S. Department of Education’s mandates, but with needed flexibility and less loss of instructional time."
"The proposal gives educators the standardized assessment data needed to grow students academically. We are pleased to see that it also encompasses a local formative assessment review. This plan will enable us to dedicate additional supports to ninth grade where needed as well. Governor Kemp has done a great job supporting educators, and we are hopeful that this will be a favored approach with legislators," said Calhoun City Schools Superintendent Dr. Michele Taylor.
Changes to Student Assessments
The proposed legislation will remove five of the seven assessments that are currently above federal requirements. It will also allow for flexibility on the timing of the high school writing assessment and make changes to shorten the length of the Georgia Milestones. Furthermore, this bill will assist with the reduction of local assessments and maximize instruction time by creating a testing window within the last 25 school days or last five weeks of the school year.