GaDOE changes weight of Milestones


Georgia Department of Education

Georgia’s Superintendent Richard Woods has changed the weight of the Milestones in each student’s overall average to .01%. The Milestone weight is a temporary change because of COVID-19.

Mackenzie Jadick, Staff Writer

The Georgia Department of Education has temporarily changed the weight of Milestones from 20% to 0.01% for the 2020-2021 school year.

GaDOE Superintendent Richard Woods requested to waive the Milestone in the state of Georgia again for the 2020-2021 school year, but the U.S. Department of Education denied the request on February 22, 2021. Therefore, Woods decided on a move that would lessen the impact if a student scores poorly.

Every district was given its own flexibility, so teachers and supervisors can create a testing plan that works for that district. Fayette County has decided that if the student’s score on the Milestone is higher than the student’s class average then it will count for 20% of the student’s grade. If students score lower than their class average, it will only county for 0.01%.

“I hope our students see this as an opportunity,” Principal Allen Leonard said. “One of the things we really try to push in education, is the idea that it is okay to try and make mistakes and to learn from your mistakes.”

Georgia’s Department of Education has looked into many ways to keep students safe while taking the Milestone tests. The board will not allow students to take the test at home for various security reasons. The state is providing multiple testing dates and areas for students to allow for social distancing. 

Some Starr’s Mill teachers have altered their teaching style to accommodate for the change. Some teachers are giving fewer written assignments and tests, choosing to incorporate more class discussions and small group projects. 

Classes that do not have a state-mandated Milestone will still have an exam worth 20% of each student’s grades.