DeKalb County Schools: 2017 Georgia Milestones Test Scores Display Academic Progress Across the District
District shows significant numbers of students scoring within positive performance levels and continues to address improving scores and closing the statewide gap in academic growth and achievement.
DeKalb County School District’s Georgia Milestones End-of-Course and End-of-Grade test scores highlight student progress in academic proficiency across the District.
- In language arts, 24 elementary schools met or exceeded the state average in the percentage of students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades scoring in the two highest categories, Proficient Learner and Distinguished Learner. Thirteen of these schools were Title I schools.
- Likewise, 21 elementary schools met or exceeded state averages in the percentage of students in the highest scoring bands for mathematics. On average, over 19 elementary schools scored in the highest bands of performance for 5th grade students in both science and social studies.
- In middle school language arts, 14 middle schools showed significant proficiency in the percentage of students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades scoring in the Proficient Learner or Distinguished Learner performance bands, either meeting or exceeding state averages. Seven of these middle schools were designated as Title I.
- On average, 60 percent of students in the District scored within or above the scoring range for Lexile Levels, a scale for measuring the reading ability of a student.
- Across the District, at least 35 percent of high school students completing the Ninth Grade Literature and Composition, American Literature and Composition, Biology, United States History, and Economics Spring 2017 End-of-Course assessments scored in state’s highest performance categories, illustrating significant proficiency in the mastery of content standards.
Schools exhibiting 80 percent or more of their students scoring in the highest performance levels in one or more content areas include:
- Ashford Park Elementary School
- Austin Elementary School
- Dunwoody Elementary School
- Globe Academy Charter School
- Kittredge Magnet School
- Museum School at Avondale Estates
- Wadsworth Magnet School for High Achievers
- Vanderlyn Elementary School
Long-Term District Growth and Achievement
DeKalb County School District students continue to show growth year-over-year on the Georgia Milestones Assessment since the 2014-2015 school year, indicating progress in the development of long-term student mastery:
- In English Language Arts, third and sixth grade students across the district increased three percentage points in students showing proficiency; eighth grade students also increased performance by two percentage points.
- High school students showing proficiency in English Language Arts increased 25 percentage points.
- In mathematics, students in grade levels 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 have displayed positive student growth, year-over year, in mathematics achievement with elementary students growing by nearly four percentage points; middle school students grew by nearly ten percentage points during this time period as well.
- High School students showing proficiency in mathematics increased five percentage points with significant growth each school year.
- High school science students increased proficiency by 18 percentage points.
“The latest Georgia Milestones results are encouraging because they clearly demonstrate DeKalb County School District students are becoming more proficient academically, and that we are reaching higher levels of achievement,” said Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green. “Increased student performance is our commitment to the community, and we are headed in the right direction.”
Significant Student Achievement at District’s Lowest Performing Schools
Between school year 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, significant student academic progress was noted at DeKalb’s lowest performing schools. During the 2016-2017 school year, ten of the District’s lowest performing schools were placed into an aggressive school turnaround initiative program entitled ‘Horizon Schools.’ Under Superintendent Green’s leadership, these schools received millions of dollars in additional support and a very structured instructional program aimed at increasing the number of students moving from the lowest performance level to higher performance levels on the Georgia Milestones Assessment. The school district continues to invest in the success of these schools, recognizing that while improvements can still be made, these schools consistently demonstrate success. The following Horizon Schools demonstrated the most significant improvement over the past two years:
- Allgood Elementary School increased the percentage of 4th grade English/Language Arts students scoring in the Developing Learner and Proficient Learner levels by 14 percentage points. In Mathematics, the percentage of 4th grade Beginning Learners decreased 26 percentage points and the percentage of students scoring at the Developing and Proficient Learner levels increased 25 percentage points.
- Cedar Grove Elementary School decreased the percentage of 3rd grade English/Language Arts Developing Learners by 4 percentage points and increased the percentage of Proficient Learners by 4 percentage points. In Mathematics, the percentage of 5th grade students scoring at Beginning Learner decreased 9 percentage points and the percentage of Developing Learners increased 11 percentage points.
- Chapel Hill Elementary School decreased the percentage of 3rd grade English/Language Arts students scoring in the lowest performance band (Beginning Learner) by 20 percentage points; 3rd grade students scoring in the Developing Learner category decreased 4 percentage points while the percentage of 3rd grade students scoring at the Proficient Learner level increased 10 percentage points. In Mathematics, 3rd grade students scoring at Beginning Learner decreased 5 percentage points, while the percentage of 3rd grade students scoring at Proficient Learner increased 7 percentage points.
- Fairington Elementary School decreased the percentage of 3rd grade students scoring at Beginning Learner by 12 percentage points and the percentage of 3rd grade Proficient Learners increased 7 percentage points. In Mathematics, the percentage of 3rd grade students scoring at Beginning Learner decreased 12 percentage points while the percentage of Developing Learners increased 8 percentage points.
- Flat Shoals Elementary School decreased the percentage of Beginning Learners by 9 percentage points while the percentage of Developing and Proficient Learners increased 8 percentage points. In Mathematics, the percentage of Beginning Learners decreased 19 percentage points while the percentage of Developing and Proficient Learners increased 21 percentage points.
For those schools that need significant improvement, the District has undertaken the following initiatives to improve student academic outcomes including but not limited to:
- The Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Accountability (CIA²) task force is rebuilding the teaching and learning foundation to ensure that all students receive rigorous instruction, in all classrooms, in all schools, including the revamping of district-wide curriculum resources.
- Family & Community Engagement programs ensure parents are included and supported in their roles in the learning process. This includes parent workshops, training in the use of Academic Parent Teacher Teams, school events, regional Parent Centers, and the District’s pilot of a tool for online family engagement on demand (FAM-FLIX).
- Wrap-around services address the social-emotional impacts of the learning process including strategic use of counselors, social workers, student engagement coaches, student success coaches, post-secondary transition specialists, and other critical positions to support students who are dealing with challenges that may impact their learning or matriculation toward graduation.
- Incentives and support are in place to recruit, hire, and retain highly effective teachers in schools that are considered more challenged.
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones) is a comprehensive summative assessment program spanning 3rd grade through high school. Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state- adopted content standards in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Students in 3rd – 8th grades take an end-of-grade assessment, while high school students take an end-of-course assessment for each of the eight courses designated by the State Board of Education. From lowest to highest, student scores on this new assessment places students into the following performance levels: Beginning Learner, Developing Learner, Proficient Learner, and Distinguished Learner.
The Georgia Department of Education will offer credit toward the 2017 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores for all students scoring in the Developing Learners, Proficient Learners, and Distinguished Learners performance levels. Developing Learners are learners that typically require moderate academic intervention to advance to Proficient Learner. On average, 40 percent of students in DeKalb County scored in the Developing Learner performance level, indicating that these students require only moderate academic intervention to become a Proficient Learner, and that significant academic progress is achievable.