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Letter: Milestones scores show it’s time to repeal Common Core

Under baseball rules three strikes and you're out applies. The same should be said of the rules for the 2018-2019 Georgia Milestone Assessment Test. 

This is the third school year that the state average test scores are failing in grades third through eighth in English/language arts and mathematics. Also, the same applies to grades fifth and eighth in social studies and science. 

Reading in 2018-2019 has changed this year from the scores for "percent of proficient learners or above" to "percent grade level or above." Either they changed the test or their scoring methods.

For three years, I kept the scores — 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and now 2018-2019 — from the Georgia Department of Education website. Reading scores in 2017-2018 for percent of proficient learners or above were: 

  • 3rd: 37%

  • 4th: 41.4%

  • 5th: 41%

  • 6th: 38.9%

  • 7th: 42.8%

  • 8th: 34.5%

The 2016-2017 scores were also failing in reading.

I have to exclude reading 2018-2019 from my findings since the department did not list percent of proficient learners or above and now have removed those scores from the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 reports.

The 2018-2019 scores reported by the department came up a few percentage points, but not much. The percent of proficient learners or above scores if interpreted like a school report card means that below 60% or 70% is failing. 

Percent reading grade level of above

  • 3rd: 73%

  • 4th: 64%

  • 5th: 73%

  • 6th: 61%

  • 7th: 75%

  • 8th: 74%

English/language arts, percent proficient learners or above

  • 3rd: 42%

  • 4th: 42%

  • 5th: 45%

  • 6th: 46%

  • 7th: 39%

  • 8th: 49%

Mathematics, percent proficient learners or above

  • 3rd: 52%

  • 4th: 49%

  • 5th: 41%

  • 6th: 40%

  • 7th: 43%

  • 8th: 44%

Science, percent proficient learners or above

  • 5th: 43%

  • 8th: 41%

Social studies, percent proficient learners or above

  • 5th: 31%

  • 8th: 41%

Why are these scores so low? Georgia schools are still required to follow the curriculum and use the instructional materials under Common Core Standards since 2012, renamed The Georgia Standards of Excellence in 2015 due to parent outrage. 

Until the Georgia Milestone Assessment Test was developed and adopted as our assessment test, we had no idea what a real failure Common Core was. Now we know; and with three failures in a row, it is time to repeal Common Core. 

Our children need the same "back to basics" education their parents enjoyed.

There is some great news for our Georgia students, parents, teachers and administrators!

The voices of the people have been heard by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. According to WTOC11, "Georgia parents who had to relearn how to do math to help their kids under Common Core standards may have to learn a new system. This week, Georgia education leaders started the process of repealing and replacing the K-12 education standards."

I'm thrilled, it's about time! 

Phyllis Marshall


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