Pre-K-12 Curriculum and Instruction - English Language Arts (6-12)

General Information

6-8 Grade Levels:
Instruction in grades 6-8 addresses students’ increasing maturity and the growing sophistication of their abilities, culminating in the development by the end of 8th grade of students who are ready to succeed in high school. Students should be able to comprehend more challenging books and articles, basing all of their analyses, inferences, and claims on explicit and relevant evidence from the texts. Students will expand on their ability to identify central ideas by identifying how those themes are shaped and conveyed by particular details. Their analysis of basic literary elements will extend to identifying connections and complexities within narratives and how individual elements weave together to advance plot and reveal character. Students will express these analytical skills in different types of writing: argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative – as devised in the Georgia Standards of Excellence Curriculum Mapp. Students will become increasingly adept at understanding an author’s biases, the use of complex rhetorical devices including logical fallacies, and tailoring his or her own prose for maximum influence. While continuing with a variety of non-fiction literature, students in grades 6-8 will begin to tackle more technical informational texts as well. Students will read literature and non-fiction literature in grades 6-8 from the textbook series – Georgia Collections.

9-12 Grade Levels:
Because of the flexibility of English Language Arts course offerings at the high school level, the Georgia Standards of Excellence for grades 9 through 12 is organized into grade bands comprised of 9-10 and 11-12. The 9-12 Georgia Standards of Excellence define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of each grade band. As students’ progress towards the successful culmination of their high school careers, they will consolidate and internalize all of the skills instilled through the full progression of the GSE. High school students will employ strong, thorough, and explicit textual evidence in their literary analyses and technical research. They will understand the development of multiple ideas through details and structure and track the development of complex characters and advanced elements of plot such as parallel storylines. Student writing will reflect the ability to argue effectively, employing the structure, evidence, and rhetoric necessary in the composition of effective, persuasive texts. Students will be able to construct college-ready research papers of significant length in accordance with the guidelines of standard format styles such as APA and MLA. Students in high school will have built strong and varied vocabularies across multiple content areas, including technical subjects. Students will graduate with the fully developed ability to communicate in multiple modes of discourse demonstrating a strong command of the rules of Standard English.

Documents and Resources

Standards for End Of Grade & End Of Courses:

Parent Guide to Student Individual Student Report - End of Grade:(6-8)
Parent Guide to Student Individual Student Report - End of Course: (9-12)
Study & Resource Guides - End of Grade: (6-8)
Study & Resource Guides - End of Course: (9-12)

Frequently Asked Questions

The Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones) is a comprehensive assessment system spanning grades 3 through high school. Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state-adopted content standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Students in grades 3 through 8 will take End-of-Grade (EOG) assessments in each content area, while high school students will take End-of-Course (EOC) assessments for each of the ten courses designated by the State Board of Education.

Georgia Milestones is designed to provide information about how well students are mastering the state-adopted content standards in the core content areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Importantly, Georgia Milestones is designed to provide students with critical information about their own achievement and their readiness for their next level of learning—be it the next grade, the next course, or the next endeavor (college or career).

Georgia Milestones includes the item types described below:

  • open-ended (constructed-response) items in English Language Arts and Mathematics (all grades and courses);
  • a writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level and course within the English Language Arts assessments;
  • nationally norm-referenced items in all content areas and courses to complement the Georgia criterion-referenced information and to provide a national comparison
  • multiple-choice items in all content areas and courses. Georgia Milestones will be transitioned to online testing over time. Online is considered the primary mode of testing, with paper-and-pencil available as backup until the transition is complete.

Students who are prepared, calm, and rested perform better on tests. Here are some of the many ways to help your student approach Georgia Milestones in a relaxed, positive way:

  • Encourage your student to employ good study and test-taking skills. These skills include following directions carefully, avoiding careless errors, and reviewing work.
  • Explain the purpose of the tests. The assessments give students an opportunity to show what they have learned in school. They also give teachers information that helps them plan instruction.
  • Point out that some items may be more difficult than others.
  • Be certain your student gets plenty of sleep and has a healthy breakfast and lunch. Taking tests is hard work for many students and can require a lot of energy.
  • Be certain your student is at school on time. Rushing and worrying about being late could affect performance on the tests.
  • Remember to ask your student about the testing at the end of each day.

Students will take the assessments on days specified by their local school system within designated state testing windows. The End-of-Course (EOC) Main administrations will occur in December and January in the winter months. The Spring Main administration will occur in April and May, with the Summer Main administration taking place in June and July. Students in grades 3 through 8 will participate in the End-of-Grade (EOG) assessments from early April through early May.

The state-adopted content standards set specific academic benchmarks and expectations for all students in Georgia’s public schools. Georgia Milestones measures how well a student has acquired the knowledge and skills outlined in the standards for his or her grade level. Students are not compared to each other but are measured instead on how well they are meeting the standards. Student achievement in each content area is classified into four performance levels. Student test results are provided to parents and schools. Georgia Milestones includes a limited sample of nationally norm-referenced items to provide a signal of how Georgia students are achieving relative to their peers nationally. Only approved norm-referenced items aligned to Georgia standards will contribute to a student’s criterion-referenced achievement level, scale score, and grade conversion score. In grades three, five, and eight, Georgia Milestones results inform promotion/retention decisions in the areas of reading (grades 3, 5, and 8) and mathematics (grades 5 and 8). If needed, students are afforded a retest opportunity in the summer. For high school students, the EOC measures serve as their final exam with the resulting score counting as 20 percent of their final course grade. Performance on the English Language Arts portion of Georgia Milestones is linked to the Lexile scale, a national reading measure that matches students to appropriately challenging reading materials. An abundance of books and articles are assigned Lexile measures by publishers. All major standardized tests can report student reading scores in Lexiles. For more information about the Lexile scale, as well as resources to help select literature for your student, visit on the Georgia Department of Education website.

State rules, federal requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandate that all students participate in the state assessment program. All students must be tested in all Georgia Milestones content areas at their respective grade levels or courses. Specified accommodations are allowed on state assessments for students who require them. Neither an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team nor a parent can request that a student be exempted from the assessment program. However, if an IEP team determines regular state testing is inappropriate for a student, even with accommodations, the student may participate in the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA). While Georgia Milestones’ primary mode of testing is online, paper-and-pencil tests will be available for students who require that mode of testing (e.g., Braille). Students with limited English proficiency who enrolled in a U.S. school for the first time may receive a one-year deferment from assessment in EOG content areas other than Mathematics and Science. Deferments are not permitted for EOC assessments.

Contact Information

Margie Riles MCSD Content Specialist-Literacy

Muscogee County School District
Content Specialist-Literacy
2960 Macon Road
Columbus, GA 31906