Gov. Deal says student testing costs will rise
by Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press
August 01, 2013 11:36 PM | 1334 views | 3 3 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ALPHARETTA — Student testing costs will rise despite the state’s decision not to use a standardized exam being developed for use nationally under the Common Core academic standards, Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday.

Deal said Georgia can anticipate spending more money on testing and noted the challenge will be to design one that not only measures student progress but shows that progress as comparable to students around the country.

“This is not an easy undertaking,” Deal said, answering questions after a ceremony celebrating EY’s new Global IT Center in Alpharetta.

Last week, state officials announced Georgia was withdrawing from a partnership among several states working to create a test tied to Common Core, which creates basic requirements for math and English language arts.

Dozens of states, including Georgia, have embraced the standards which they helped develop under the leadership of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. That has not stopped some conservative and tea party groups from criticizing the standards, which they say amount to federal intrusion and threaten student privacy.

Although the federal government has not been involved in creating the standards, it has encouraged states to adopt them under its “Race to the Top” grant competition.

Deal has said he supports having rigorous standards but that the state couldn’t afford the high costs associated with the test that is being developed by the group of states that formed the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. State officials said the test would have cost Georgia about $27.5 million more per year when the state’s entire testing budget is about $25 million.

“Part of the excessive costs associated with the PARCC initiative is that it was moving away from a multiple choice to a more written response,” Deal said. “That obviously takes more time to grade and certainly the costs that are associated with that are understandable. What we are challenged to do, I think, at this point, is to come up with some modification of our current system.”

Meanwhile, Deal expressed confidence that Georgia would not lose $9.9 million of its $400 million Race to the Top grant because the state’s new evaluation system has yet to tie teacher and administrator pay to performance.

State Schools Superintendent John Barge has said the state was not ready to implement a statewide merit pay system. Deal said Barge had assured him the Department of Education was moving toward that goal.

“I have every expectation that he is will do what he has promised me that he is going to do,” Deal said of Barge. “I have no reason to believe that this isn’t something we can accommodate and satisfy them as to the progress we’re going to make.”

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Lib in Cobb
August 03, 2013
Fox News has reported.

The top ten best educated states in the US are blue states.

Nine out of the top ten worst educated states are red states.

GA missed out by a nose.

Congratulations, maybe next year.
Failure for GA
August 03, 2013
Governor Zell Miller was a huge bproponent of public education and had it on the right track. He respected teachers and created the HOPE scholarship. Since that time, every governor has slowly ripped apart the education system and encouraged the public to disregard teachers and public education. It is not the teachers who choose to have 35-42 kids in classes and not be able to help- each one of them. It is the state who refuses to follow the proper QBE, pay counties what they should, and stop playing games. Parents beware. The class sizes this year are outrageous and will continue because you choose not to fight for your children!
August 02, 2013
Merit Pay and/or Pay for Performance???

Really? How is the state going to pay for that? They cant afford to pay their teachers now a regular salary! Any teacher i know is being furloughed. Thats a joke if i ever heard one. Districts are broke and their going to pay teachers based on performance? Give me a break already
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