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GCPS students continue to outpace state averages on state assessments

Gwinnett’s 2019 Milestones Results

GCPS students continue to outpace state averages on state assessments

September 11, 2019

     A review of recently released scores from the 2018-19 administration of the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones in grades 3-8 and Georgia Milestones EOCs in grades 9-12) show that overall, Gwinnett students demonstrated higher achievement than the previous year. 

     Georgia Milestones assesses student learning along four levels of performance. These designations aim to shift the focus away from just test scores, instead capturing the progression of students’ learning:

  • 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 readiness.

     In Gwinnett, teachers work hard to move students to the higher levels of learning where they aren’t just Developing, but where they can show that they are Proficient and Distinguished learners. Last April, more than 139,135 Gwinnett students took more than 300,000 state Milestone tests. On 53% of those tests, our students scored Proficient (Level 3) or higher. That is compared to the statewide results where only 43% were Level 3 or above. 

     “We are pleased with the overall results of this year’s Georgia Milestones,” says Dr. Jonathan Patterson, associate superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Support. “It is confirmation that our focus on improving student achievement is working. We believe the results reflect the high value that our parents and community place on excellence in learning, and it is a credit to our educators who work tirelessly to prepare students for college and careers in today’s world.”

     And a review of how metro-Atlanta’s largest school districts are doing in terms of moving students to those higher levels of learning (Proficient and Distinguished), shows Gwinnett among the top metro districts. 

  2019 Milestones comparison chart

A Closer Look at Gwinnett Elementary and Middle School EOG Results: 
     At the elementary school level, across all subject areas and grade levels, GCPS had a greater percentage of students in the top two performance levels (Proficient and Distinguished) than the state. Middle school results were similar with the exception of 8th grade math and science as many of our 8th grade GCPS students took more rigorous courses and were assessed by the high school EOC assessment. 

English Language Arts

  • A higher percentage of students scored in the combined “Proficient” and “Distinguished” categories in grades 3, 5, 6, and 8.
  • 3rd grade scores increased with 50% scoring Proficient and Distinguished compared to 47% from the previous year. The state percentage in the Proficient and Distinguished categories increased from 37% to 42%.
  • 4th grade scores remained consistent with 51% scoring in the Proficient and Distinguished range. State scores in these categories increased from 41% to 42%.
  • 5th grade scores increased from 51% Proficient and Distinguished to 53%. The state also saw increases from 41% to 45%.
  • GCPS 6th grade scores increased from 50% Proficient and Distinguished to 54%. The state saw an increase as well, moving from 39% to 46% in these top two categories. 
  • 7th grade scores in the top two categories decreased from 51% Proficient and Distinguished to 48%. The state increased from 38% to 39%. 
  • In Gwinnett, we saw an increase in the percentage scoring in the top two levels at 8th grade, moving from 56% Proficient and Distinguished to 58%. The state also saw an increase in these top levels, moving from 43% to 47%.

 
 Mathematics

  • In grades 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, the percentage of Gwinnett students scoring in the “Beginning” category remained consistent or improved.
  • Additionally, a higher percentage of students scored in the combined “Proficient” and “Distinguished” categories at the elementary level (grades 3-5).
  • 3rd grade scores increased from 56% scoring Proficient and Distinguished to 60%. The state saw an increase in these top two categories, moving from 46% to 52%. 
  • The percentage of GCPS 4th graders scoring in the Proficient and Distinguished categories increased from 59% to 61%. The state’s increase in these categories was 47% to 49%.
  • Gwinnett 5th grade scores increased from 49% scoring in the Proficient and Distinguished categories to 52%. The state saw increases in the top two categories, from 39% to 41%.
  • GCPS 6th graders scoring in the top two levels remained consistent at 52%. State results at these levels increased from 38% to 40%.
  • The percentage of Gwinnett 7th graders scoring at the Proficient and Distinguished levels decreased from 56% to 55%. State results at these levels remained consistent at 43%.
  • Gwinnett saw a decrease in the percentage of 8th graders scoring at the Proficient and Distinguished levels, moving from 26% to 22%. The state reported 35% scoring at these higher levels, up one percentage point. (It should be noted that the majority of Gwinnett students now take the Algebra EOC in place of the 8th grade Math EOG, and those results are not included in this calculation.)

 Science

  • At the 5th grade level, the percentage of students scoring at the top two levels increased from 52% to 56%. State results at these levels increased from 39% to 43%. 
  • In 8th grade the percentage of Gwinnett students scoring Proficient and Distinguished decreased from 19% to 15%. The state increased at these levels from 30% to 32%. (It should be noted that in 8th grade the majority of students now take the HS Physical Science EOC in place of the 8th grade Science EOG.)

 Social Studies

  • The percentage of 5th grade scores in the Proficient and Distinguished categories increased from 39% to 46%. The state saw a slight increase in these top categories, moving from 30% to 31%. 
  • Gwinnett 8th graders scoring in the Proficient and Distinguished ranges decreased from 57% to 55%. The state remained consistent at 41%. 

High School EOC Results:
GCPS percentages of students in the Proficient and Distinguished performance levels were above the state in all subjects.

Language Arts

  • The percentage of Gwinnett students scoring Proficient and Distinguished in 9th Grade Literature and Composition was 68%, up from 60% in 2018. The state percentage of students scoring in Proficient and Distinguished increased from 52% in 2018 to 61% in 2019. (Note: Of the 14,474 students taking the 9th Grade Literature and Composition EOC in Gwinnett, 350 were middle school students.)
  • American Literature and Composition scores in GCPS decreased from 56% of students scoring in Proficient and Distinguished to 54%. The percentage of students across the state scoring in these top performance levels remained consistent at 47%. 

Mathematics

  • The performance of GCPS students in the top two performance categories in Algebra I increased from 47% scoring Proficient and Distinguished up to 49%. (Note: Of the 17,468 students taking the Algebra I EOC in Gwinnett, 8,971 were middle school students.)
  • Forty-seven percent of GCPS students scored in the Proficient and Distinguished categories on the Geometry EOC in 2019, compared to 45% in 2018. The state also saw an increase in the percentage of students scoring in these two categories with 41% in 2019 compared to 39% in 2018. (Note: Of the 11,899 students taking the Geometry EOC in Gwinnett, 191 were middle school students.)

Science

  • Of the 12,176 students taking the Physical Science EOC in Gwinnett, 12,058 were middle school students. Scores decreased with 56% scoring in the Proficient and Distinguished categories compared to 58% in 2018. The state percentage scoring in the top two levels increased to 47% from 43%. 
  • Fifty-five percent of GCPS Biology students scored Proficient and Distinguished, down from 58% the previous year; state percentages remained consistent at 49%. 

Social Studies

  • Gwinnett’s U.S. History scores in the Proficient and Distinguished categories remained consistent at 57%. State scores increased with 48% scoring at these levels in 2019 compared to 47% in 2018.
  • Economics scores for the spring administration in the top levels decreased at both the local and state levels. In Gwinnett, 52% of GCPS students earned scores of Proficient and Distinguished in 2019 down from 55% in 2018. The state percentage of students at the top levels decreased from 49% to 48%. 

     The information gained through assessments is key to the teaching and learning process. As Dr. Patterson shares, “This year we saw continued growth and improvement among elementary students, which is exciting. We also saw some significant gains for our middle school students and continue to see upward progress for high school, especially in our areas of focus, Literature and Mathematics. We will review the 2019 results, looking to drive opportunities for improvement, paying particular attention to what we can do to raise achievement among our students— those who struggle as well as those who have shown advanced proficiency.”
 

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