Georgia test scores rise, but stay below pre-pandemic levels

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ATLANTA (AP) - Test scores for Georgia students recovered some in the 2021-2022 school year from from their pandemic plunge, but remain significantly below pre-pandemic levels, raising questions about whether students can fully recover and how long that might take.

The Georgia Department of Education released the annual Milestones test results Friday. Students in grades 3-8 as well as high schoolers take the tests. Federal law requires most of the tests.

Officials in the state Department of Education, which has downplayed the importance of standardized testing under Republican state Superintendent Richard Woods, are taking a positive approach to the results, which were generally improved from 2021, when Georgia administered tests under federal mandate despite opposition by Woods.

"You will see that results have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, but they show that academic recovery is underway in Georgia's public schools," Allison Timberlake, deputy state superintendent for assessment and accountability, told reporters Wednesday in a pre-release briefing.