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​Georgia’s application for federal Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority approved

Click here for the U.S. Department of Education’s approval letter.

July 22, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Education (US ED) has approved Georgia’s participation in its Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA), State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced today.

Georgia was approved to implement two of the innovative assessment models described in the state’s application – the Georgia MAP Partnership and the Putnam County Consortium. While there is an opportunity for a third model (Cobb Metrics) to provide additional information, it will not be implemented at this time.

“This waiver to utilize pilot projects allows Georgia to pursue greater flexibility in the classroom, reduce high-stakes testing, and focus on a more student-centric approach to learning,” Governor Brian P. Kemp said. “I applaud the efforts of federal, state, and local educational leaders who worked together to develop this innovative idea for the benefit of Georgia families, students, and teachers.”

"I am excited that Georgia is taking the lead on finding alternative ways to test our students other than the end of the year Milestones model," said Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan. “The granting of this waiver will start us on a path to more student- and teacher-centered testing.”

“I am proud that Georgia continues to be a national leader in pursuing flexibility for our schools and students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “A maximum of seven states will be selected to participate in this demonstration authority, so Georgia is in a distinguished group. For the benefit of our students, we must all continue to rethink assessment in the state of Georgia. I will keep pursuing a change in state law to get state testing requirements in line with the federal minimum, along with a more realistic use of test scores for accountability purposes.”

Through the IADA, Georgia has been granted flexibility to pilot the two approved innovative assessments – Georgia MAP and the Putnam consortium’s Navvy – through the 2023-24 school year. At that time, the state will determine whether either of the assessments should be administered statewide. Georgia is required to determine which one assessment it will administer to all students by the end of its participation in the IADA.

US ED is requiring the Georgia MAP Partnership and the Putnam County Consortium to establish comparability with Georgia Milestones before the administration of either pilot assessment. Both districts will present comparability evidence to Georgia’s new Innovative Assessment Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), as early as this fall. US ED is also requiring that the Putnam County Consortium provide information on how it will produce literacy data.

US ED requires that districts continue to administer Georgia Milestones for any grade, content area, or course assessed by Georgia Milestones for which an innovative assessment system does not have a corresponding assessment. Districts will also need to continue to administer Georgia Milestones to the extent necessary to continue performing the annual comparability analyses required by US ED.

Georgia applied for the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority in December 2018 in order to seek the maximum flexibility available under federal law for its assessment program, as laid out in Georgia’s ESSA plan.