In a balanced educational system, assessments are essential for understanding what students have learned and supporting continued learning. Georgia's assessments are designed to measure and report what students know and can do in a valid, reliable, and fair way. Results for individual students provide parents and teachers with information to support curricular decisions while summarized achievement results for schools, districts, and the state allow stakeholders to evaluate and improve current education practice for all students.
Results from Georgia's assessments are used in several ways, depending on the purpose of the assessment. Formative assessment results (e.g., Keenville, DRC BEACON, and GKIDS 2.0) are used to directly inform immediate classroom instructional choices, and are not used for high-stakes accountability. These assessments quickly provide individual and aggregated performance reports with detailed information on strengths demonstrated by a student or student group, and areas where additional learning is needed.
Georgia's statewide summative assessments (e.g., Georgia Milestones, GAA 2.0, ACCESS for ELLs, and NAEP) also provide a variety of reported results for different purposes. Student-level results are used by teachers, students, and parents as one piece of information to inform instructional decisions about students. School and district-level results are used by local leaders to evaluate and improve instructional programs and curricular initiatives. School, district, and state-level results are used to support CCRPI, Georgia's accountability system. The results for Georgia Milestones also support Georgia's state law for promotion in grades 3, 5, and 8, grading in high school courses, and other initiatives to improve instructional practice (e.g., TKES and LKES).
Formative and summative results are provided to students, teachers, parents, educational leaders, and other stakeholders as quickly as possible, while still ensuring the technical quality of all reported outcomes. For example, with a formative assessment like Keenville, which uses an innovative game-based delivery model, student and group results are provided on-demand to teachers through an interactive dashboard which allows teachers to see how students performed on each question, and the standards associated with each. For summative assessments, results are provided around the close of the state testing window, as there are more complex scoring processes, including handscoring of writing items and psychometric evaluation steps.
For more information about interpreting the various reports provided by each assessment, please view the Score Interpretation Guides.
In addition to overall achievement reported through a scale score or achievement level, many assessments administered in Georgia also report achievement on specific parts of the assessment. Some examples include the writing scores on the Georgia Milestones ELA assessments, which detail the specific score a student achieved on the writing prompt, or the Foundations of School Success domain score on the GKIDS Readiness Check, which notes which indicates achievement of specific skills related to social and emotional development, physical and motor skills development, and approaches to learning. Sometimes these additional, specific scores indicate achievement on a scale which helps contextualize and use achievement; two examples of this include the Lexile score reported through the Georgia Milestones ELA assessment, which indicates reading achievement in a framework which may help select reading material, and the projected Georgia Milestones achievement reported through DRC BEACON, which indicates the achievement the student may demonstrate at the end of the year on Georgia Milestones, with typical growth. These additional achievement indicators are reported to provide more detailed or contextualized information on student achievement, where appropriate. For more information on each achievement outcome reported through Georgia's assessments, see the Score Interpretation Guides listed above.
One important feature of standardized end-of-year assessments is that you can compare scores across forms, administrations, and years, within a given grade and content area. This is achieved by setting standards on a scale which is held constant through a process called equating. Careful practices when building test forms and scoring tests ensure that, for example, the expectations achieve a Proficient Learner designation in 4th
grade Mathematics are the same for students testing in 2022 and students testing in 2023. Each scale is specifically designed and maintained for each grade and content area, so scores cannot be compared across grades and content areas. Achievement level standards are set by Georgia educators based on achievement level descriptors specific to each grade and content area. A scale score of 495 in 4th
grade Mathematics does not mean the same the same things as a scale score of 495 in 5th
grade Mathematics or 4th
Quickly and efficiently reporting achievement in on Georgia's assessments is a top priority. While several improvements have been made to reporting processes in the past couple of years, such as the addition of interactive reporting platform capabilities, reporting on end-of-year standardized assessments still follows industry-standard technical evaluation processes, and thus scores are not immediately generated and released upon the completion of an assessment. Further, in order to assess complex skills such as writing, some item types on the Georgia Milestones require handscoring. Handscoring for high-stakes end-of-year assessments is a careful, extensive process which requires many trained raters scoring and reviewing each student response, and while this is completed in a timely manner, it precludes instantaneous reporting. End-of-year summative assessment reporting in Georgia consistently meets target schedules while maintaining technical evaluation and quality control processes.
Spotlight On: Interactive Reporting
Interactive reporting dashboards provide Georgia educators with more options and flexibility than traditional reporting formats alone, such as PDFs and file extracts. Georgia Milestones, Keenville, and GKIDS 2.0 all provide unique and dynamic interactive reporting options so teachers and educators can filter, sort, drill down, and export achievement information to best meet their instructional needs. Each reporting platform is uniquely designed to provide meaningful access to each assessment program's achievement results.
- Keenville game-based achievement results are presented in dynamic charts and graphs which allow educators to click in and drill down to see details by student and by standard (click here for more information on Keenville reporting resources).
- GKIDS 2.0 learning progression and Readiness Check achievement is available in several dynamic report and analytic views within a comprehensive platform where teachers can save notes and detailed achievement information as their students progress throughout the year (click here for more information on GKIDS 2.0 reporting resources).
- Georgia Milestones new interactive reporting platform provides a modern, intuitive interface for educators to review achievement by class, content area, and domain, with customizable report views to best fit their needs (click here for more information on Georgia Milestones interactive reporting resources).