Georgia students show improvements on state tests

Georgia students show improvements on state tests

July 27th, 2016 by Yolanda Putman in Local Regional News

Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese encourages everyone to look for ways to give back.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Results

2016 State Results

Comparison Charts and Graphs

2016 School and System Results

Spring 2016 EOG – School (Elementary and Middle School)

Spring 2016 EOG – System (Elementary and Middle School)

Spring 2016 EOC – School (High School)

Spring 2016 EOC – System (High School)

2015 State Results

Comparison Charts and Graphs

2015 School and System Results

Spring 2015 EOG – School (Elementary and Middle School)

Spring 2015 EOG – System (Elementary and Middle School)

Spring 2015 EOC – School (High School)

Spring 2015 EOC – System (High School)

For more information go to Georgia Milestones Assessment System website.

Georgia, a state that recently earned the dubious distinction of having some of the lowest academic expectations in the nation, now has something to crow about.

Student scores released this week for the 2016 administration of the Georgia Milestones Assessment System show increases in most subject areas including math, science, social studies and English language arts.

"It shows more of our kids are becoming college and career ready," said Melissa Fincher, deputy superintendent for assessment and accountability.

Fincher spoke Tuesday after the Georgia Department of Education released a report showing that students made academic gains in most areas. However, the scores highlighted a need to focus on early grades, especially concerning literacy and numeracy, according to a Georgia Department of Education news release published Tuesday.

The percent of students achieving the "Proficient Learner" level and above increased for 23 of the 32 tests, with the highest gains in grade 5 science; grade 7 mathematics, science, and social studies; and grade 8 English language arts, mathematics and social studies, according to the release.

Being a proficient learner means a student is prepared for the next grade level and is on track for college and career readiness, according to Georgia's DOE news release. Being a beginning learner or developing learner means students will need more support to be prepared for the next grade level.

The academic gains for Georgia students come after 2013 when the state used the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests and became known for setting some of the lowest expectations for student proficiency in the nation, Fincher said.

"We looked at how Georgia students were doing on national measures such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAPE]," she said. "We had the widest gap and so we needed a new assessment system that provided a more truthful and accurate depiction of how our students are doing. So that's why Georgia Milestones was developed," Fincher said.

Students first took the Georgia Milestones Assessment in 2014-2015, and scores were low. For example, 60 percent of all Georgia students scored as beginning or developing learners in math and only 10 percent of students who took a language arts or science course at any grade level finished in the top category of distinguished learners, according to news reports.

The "Distinguished Learners" category is for students who are well prepared for the next grade level and well prepared for college and career readiness.

Fincher said the new test moved students from the world of multiple choice to writing essay answers.

After the initial low scores, teachers focused on preparing students for the Georgia Milestones Assessment so that they would not only be able to choose the correct answers, but also explain how they selected them, she said.

Catoosa County Public Schools Superintendent Denia Reese commended educators and students on their performance.

"Our teachers have worked diligently to implement the new Georgia standard of excellence, and our students have worked very hard to succeed at the higher expectations," she said. "In grades 3, 5 and 8 in English language arts and math, our grades met or exceeded the state [standard]."

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6431.


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