Education – For Parents
What is my child learning at school? What do these test results mean? Is my child on track for graduation? Use the resources listed below to help you understand Georgia’s educational system, and how you can help your child achieve in school.
Student Achievement Resources
National PTA’s website contains articles and brochures on helping with homework, parent-teacher conferences, preparing your child for tests, and more.
Common Core State Standards Initiative
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.
To learn more, visit the links below:
Parents’ Guide to Student Success
Developed in both English and Spanish in response to the CCSSI. Guides are grade level specific. Click here for more information and to access the guides.
Georgia has joined 44 other states, the District of Columbia (D.C.), and 2 territories, along with the Department of Defense Education Activity, in formally adopting a set of core standards for kindergarten through high school in English language arts, mathematics, and grades 6-12 literacy in science, history/social studies, and technical subjects. The Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) provide a consistent framework to prepare students for success in college and/or the 21st century workplace. The CCGPS represents an infusion of common core standards into Georgia Performance Standards (GPS).
In school year 2012-2013, the CCGPS English Language Arts have been implemented in kindergarten through grade 12, the CCGPS Literacy in science, history/social studies, and technical subjects have been implemented in grades 6 – 12, and the CCGPS Mathematics has been implemented in kindergarten through grade 9. Grade 10 CCGPS Mathematics will be implemented in 2013-2014; Grade 11-12 CCGPS Mathematics will be implemented in 2014-2015.
To learn more information about CCGPS and GPS please visit the following websites:
Georgia’s Assessment Program
Georgia’s assessment program includes the Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS), Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs) in grades 3-8, Criterion Referenced Competency Tests – Modified (CRCT-M) in grades 3-8, End of Course Tests (EOCTs) for selected subjects, Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGTs), and Writing Assessments in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. The program also includes two assessments for designated special populations – the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) and the ACCESS for ELLs. According to state law, students must pass the CRCT in grades 3 (Reading), 5 (Reading & Math), and 8 (Reading & Math) to be promoted to the next grade level.
To learn more about these assessments please visit the Georgia Department of Education’s testing and assessment webpage.
Georgia’s Online Assessment System enables students in Georgia’s public schools to access tests that consist of questions that are similar to those that appear on Georgia’s assessments.
The PSAT and SAT and ACT tests are developed by the College Board. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are college-level courses that students can take while still in high school. The curriculum is developed by the College Board. Students may take an AP exam at the end of the course and be eligible for college credit.
Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)
Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is published by The College Board as a practice instrument for students planning to take the SAT. Eleventh grade students taking the PSAT/NMSQT may be eligible to compete for National Merit Scholarships based on their PSAT score. The PSAT/NMSQT provides all test-takers with access to MyRoad, the College Board‘s online college, majors and career exploration program, allowing them to begin college and career planning. All PSAT test takers also receive free access to My College QuickStart, a personalized college and career planning kit. Use of PSAT data involves identifying the strengths and weaknesses of individual students.
The SAT® is a three-hour and forty-five minute test that measures critical reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning skills students have developed over time and that they need to be successful academically. SAT scores may be used as a tool to predict the academic performance of individual students in college-level classes. Because SAT scores are statistically controlled to maintain the same meaning from year to year, and because SAT-taker population is relatively stable from year to year, this report can be used to interpret SAT scores of individual students within the broader context of data; aggregate scores across groups of college-bound seniors; study changes over time in the characteristics of students taking the SAT; look at year-to-year educational and demographic changes in this population, along with changes in test performance. Each postsecondary institution determines its standards and test requirements for admission. Currently, all public four year colleges and universities in Georgia require either the SAT or the ACT college entrance examination. Students may register for the SAT using a paper registration form available from their school counselor or register online at http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/about.html.
Many students in Georgia participate in another test, the ACT. The ACT Assessment is designed to assess understanding and higher-order thinking skills in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science reasoning. The ACT reflects students’ skills and achievement levels as products of their high school experiences and serves as a measure of their preparation for academic coursework beyond high school. ACT results are used by postsecondary institutions across the nation for admissions, academic advising, course placement, and scholarship decisions (2005 ACT). Each postsecondary institution determines its standards and test requirements such as acceptable performance on the ACT. Currently, all public four year colleges and universities in Georgia require either the SAT or the ACT college entrance examination. Students may register for the ACT using a paper registration form available from their school counselor or online at www.actstudent.org.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
The Advanced Placement (AP) program is designed to provide students with opportunities to earn college or postsecondary credit and/or to determine appropriate placement in postsecondary programs. The College Board sponsors the AP program with technical operational services provided by Educational Testing Services (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey. The College Board prepares an Annual Summary Report of data from state and national AP programs, including performance on AP exams. Scores on AP exams range from 1 to 5, with a “5” indicating that the examinee is “extremely well qualified.” A score of “3” or higher is usually considered to be a qualifying score on the exams. Georgia has experienced a tremendous increase in the percentage of students enrolled in AP courses and completing AP exams. Research has shown that students who complete AP courses and take AP exams are better prepared to successfully begin their post-secondary education. In addition, advanced placement students are more likely to graduate from college than students who do not take AP courses.
To learn more about the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP Tests, click here.
Preparing for College
GaCollege411.org contains information about planning, applying and paying for college. The site includes information about planning your high school courses, career options, Georgia colleges, and scholarships.
Other Resources For Parents