Milestones no longer primary factor for moving up a grade in Cobb


Beginning in the fall, the Georgia Milestones test won’t solely determine whether Cobb County students advance to the next grade level. The standardized test results will be just one of the components considered. 

The Cobb County school board decided to put less emphasis on the statewide test in a unanimous vote last week.

“There should be a panoramic view about a kid’s promotion, retention, and placement. It shouldn’t be boiled down to one test,” said David Morgan, longtime Cobb school board member.

Cobb County Schools calendar 2017-2018

12 Cobb students win college-sponsored National Merit scholarships

In addition to the Milestones results, “multiple performance indicators collected throughout the year” will influence promotion and retention decisions for students, said a statement from the school system.

These “performance indicators” will include teacher commentary and students’ Lexile scores. The indicators will prevent students from “being let off the hook. They will not be ill prepared or just passed along,” Morgan said.

State law requires schools to use Milestones scores as the metric for grade promotion. Cobb was able to waive this provision because of its “flexibility” contract with the state.  In exchange for higher accountability, school systems with this type of contract have more freedom from state rules.

The statewide Milestones tests, introduced in 2014, score students in core subjects including English, math, science and social studies. But, the tests have suffered execution problems, and critics have asserted that Milestones are an inaccurate measure of a student’s skill level.

“A student is so much more than one test. We should take that entire year, the entire student, into account when we decide if they should advance,” said Connie Jackson, president of the Cobb County Association of Educators.

Eight Cobb high schools on U.S. News’ best of Georgia list

Although Cobb’s new policy eases Milestones requirements for promotion, the annual test will continue to be administered. “We do not disvalue testing, but there is a point when it comes to be too much,” board chairman David Chandler said. “The state can set standards, but one size does not fit all.”

The board’s decision demonstrates progress in Cobb County, said Jackson, leader of the county teachers group. “Unfortunately, the whole education system had moved towards ‘teaching to a test,” she said. “Cobb County is a leader in the movement to bring it back to student-centered teaching.” 

Like Cobb County News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

More about the Georgia Milestones:


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Opinion: Playboy comes to D.C.

Playboy Enterprises just announced that it has purchased a table at this year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner. Swell. Just what we need. The dinner, as you’ve probably heard, is an annual ritual of narcissism in which leading press figures don black tie and hope to see, or better yet, be seen with, Hollywood stars. Like...
Gridlock Guy: Poor tire maintenance is as bad as distracted driving

So much attention is paid to, well, the lack of attention drivers are paying behind the wheel and the havoc that carelessness causes. But what about the wheels themselves? Those deserve equal notice. Bridgestone Tires flew some other media and me out to test some of their new tires at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth last week. We tested three different...
John Williams gave back while building modern Atlanta
John Williams gave back while building modern Atlanta

In 1970 while putting together the blueprint for what became Post Properties, and when he couldn’t yet afford office space, John Williams held regular meetings at the Sandy Springs International House of Pancakes. Mostly he drank coffee until IHOP staffers required he buy breakfast with every new — and usually protracted — meeting...
DeKalb County restaurant inspection scores

DeKalb County • Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, 5070 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Chamblee. 82/B • Fletcher’s Restaurant & Bar, 3025 Turner Hill Road, Lithonia. 75/C • La Costilla Grill, 3979 Buford Highway, Atlanta. 88/B • Sapori di Napoli, 314 Church St., Decatur. 91/A • Tava Indian Bistro, 1685 Church St., Decatur. 95/A
Forsyth County restaurant inspection scores

Forsyth County • Austin’s Seafood and Steak,506 Lakeland Plaza, Cumming. 83/B • Baba’s Gyro & Kabob, 2310 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming. 85/B • Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, 2619 Freedom Parkway, Cumming. 97/A • Grub Burger Bar, 410 Peachtree Parkway, Cumming. 81/B • Midway Meal House, 5150 Highway 9, Alpharetta...
More Stories