Douglas County Celebrates Increase

Douglas County Celebrates Increase in Scores on State Testing
Posted on 08/01/2019

Students in Douglas County showed major gains in many areas on the spring 2019 Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS). Reading scores in grades 3-8 increased, with an impressive number of students reading at or above grade level. All grades 3-8 scored above the state average in English Language Arts (ELA). High school students made significant gains on End of Course (EOC) tests, with an increase in seven of the eight subjects that were tested.

“We are always happy to see students scoring on or above grade level, and we are seeing steady gains in our scores in elementary and middle schools,” said Superintendent Trent North. “We are particularly proud to see the strong scores in English Language Arts in the lower grades. Reading is the foundation of all future learning. I’m proud of the gains we are seeing in our high school EOC scores. I appreciate all the effort our teachers and administrators have made in these areas.”

“The resources and personnel we have put in place during the last two years to support our teachers and provide rigor in the classroom are paying off, particularly in ELA and Math,” said Ms. Melanie Manley, Assistant Superintendent for Student Achievement. “This year we will use new science resources in our elementary grades and implement a new assessment management system to create formative assessments. We are counting on these resources to provide our teachers the means to deliver meaningful lessons and assessments that will result in higher GMAS science scores for our elementary and middle school students.”

GMAS End of Grade (EOG) for Grades 3-8

English Language Arts (ELA)

ELA for grades 3-8 was a particularly bright spot, with a significant increase in students who scored proficient or distinguished. The third grade increase is particularly notable given the long-term impact of students’ ability to read on grade level by third grade.

More than 50% of students in grades 6 and 8 scored at the proficient and distinguished levels, a 15% increase from the previous year. Forty-five percent of students in grades 3-5 scored proficient or distinguished. Every grade 3-8 scored above the state average.

The GMAS Reading Status measurement, a Lexile score derived from reading and vocabulary questions on the ELA assessment, showed that 72% of students in grades 3, 4, and 5 are reading at or above grade level. In grades 6, 7, and 8, 73% are reading at or above grade level.

The mean scale score for ELA in grades 3-8 increased over 2018 as follows:

· Grade 3 -- 503 to 511

· Grade 4 -- 509 to 517

· Grade 5 -- 515 to 520

· Grade 6 -- 513 to 524

· Grade 7 -- 507 to 513

· Grade 8 -- 518 to 522

Math

Students in grades 3, 6, and 7 scored above the state average in math, with grades 6 and 7 showing gains from the previous year. Approximately 40% of students in grades 3-8 scored proficient or distinguished.

The mean scale score increased over 2018 in three grade levels as follows:

· Grade 3 – 519 to 520

· Grade 6 – 511 to 516

· Grade 7 – 515 to 519

Science

Students in grade 8 scored above the state average in science.

Social Studies

Students in grade 5 scored above the state average in social studies.

GMAS End of Course (EOC) for Grades 9-12

High schools in Douglas County have a lot to celebrate. When comparing the spring 2019 EOC results to spring 2018, the Douglas County School System saw an increase in the scale score for seven of the eight areas, with an average increase of 29 points. The greatest gains were in Algebra I and Geometry.

The following areas on the spring 2019 administration of the EOC saw an increase in the developing, proficient, and distinguished categories:

· 9th Grade Literature

· American Literature

· Algebra I

· Biology

· Physical Science

· U.S. History

Douglas County students scored above the state average in Algebra I and Economics.

Note: Four high schools in Douglas County changed to a block schedule for the 2018-2019 school year, requiring testing in the winter and spring. Comparisons could not be made between the winter 2018 test administration and the 2017 test administration because testing was not conducted in 2017 due to the year-long schedule.

About Georgia Milestones

Students began taking Georgia Milestones assessments in 2014-15. The testing system is one comprehensive program across grades 3-12, which includes open-ended and technology-enhanced questions to better gauge students’ content mastery. The assessment was administered 100% online for

the first time in the 2018-19 school year (with the exception of students who require a paper/pencil test as an accommodation).

Georgia Milestones assesses student learning along four levels of achievement:

Beginning Learners do not yet demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.

Developing Learners demonstrate partial proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified by Georgia’s content standards. The students need additional academic support to ensure success in the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.

Proficient Learners demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are prepared for the next grade level or course and are on track for college and career readiness.

Distinguished Learners demonstrate advanced proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are well prepared for the next grade level or course and are well prepared for college and career readines

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