Georgia Graduation Test

K-12 Testing

A legislative effort to create an appeals process for the Georgia graduation test has failed. Georgia testing reform advocates persuaded legislators to introduce a bill modeled on Indiana’s appeal process. The bill, H-252 was approved by the House Education Committee, but powerful opposition from the state superintendent and the governor blocked the bill from being heard on the House floor.


The legislation would have allowed students to obtain a diploma even if they did not pass the test, provided they met other criteria. These criteria would have included five tries on the state exam, strong attendance records, a ‘C’ grade average in core courses, approval by the principal, and documentation that the students met the standards. Though Indiana has reported success with a similarly stringent appeal process, Georgia supporters of high-stakes testing claimed the bill would weaken the standards.


Currently, several of the 20 states with graduation exams have an appeals process, including Indiana and Massachusetts. New Jersey has an alternative assessment used by those who do not pass the regular test, but it is under attack from politicians seeking to curtail its use.


FairTest provided materials to Georgia advocates to help them develop their case. In the past, FairTest also worked closely with Tennessee officials who have been pressing the legislature, thus far without success, to allow appeals. FairTest opposes the use of an exam as a sole hurdle for graduation, even with appeals, but recognizes that appeals can make the process somewhat more fair and enable students to graduate who would have been blocked by the test.