The new state standardized test results are out for the 2017-18 school year, and in DeKalb County the top scoring school for third grade English was Ashford Park Elementary, where 77.6 percent of students were reading at a proficient or higher level.
The school with the highest level of improvement was Midvale Elementary, where the percentage of students scoring at proficient or better went from 24.7 to 49.3 percent. That is a 99.6 percent improvement in one year.
Students who don’t master reading by third grade will likely struggle in later years, when they will need to be able to read well in order to learn other subjects.
GEORGIA MILESTONES: 2018 METRO ATLANTA RESULTS
Fifty of DeKalb’s 79 elementary schools showed declines in the percentages of students reading at a proficient or better level.
However 60 percent of DeKalb student still scored at or above grade level for reading comprehension.
The Georgia Department of Education divides test performance into four tiers. The best performers are “distinguished,” followed by “proficient.” They are ready for the next grade.
“Developing” and “beginning” learners, however, will need help, with the beginners in the worst spot. They will require “substantial” support to get on track.
In addition to English in third grade, mastery of math by eighth grade is considered essential, since it’s a foundation for the more complex concepts in high school.
The highest scoring DeKalb school in that category was DeKalb School of Technology and the Environment, where 58.3 percent of students scored proficient or better. Those students are in good position for the next four years, but, as with English with the younger kids, DeKalb has numerous schools that are performing poorly with math. Only one other school serving eighth graders, DeKalb School of the Arts, (which also serves higher grades) had more than half the students who were proficient or better in math.
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Newsroom Data Specialists Jacquelyn Elias and Jennifer Peebles contributed to this article.