Springdale Park Elementary was among the Atlanta Public Schools’ top 10 highest-scoring schools on the 2018 Georgia Milestones third-grade English Language Arts test. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com
Photo: Jason Getz/AJC
Photo: Jason Getz/AJC

APS touts elementary, middle school gains on 2018 Georgia Milestones tests

Atlanta Public Schools touted improvements at the elementary and middle school grades on the 2018 Georgia Milestones, standardized tests whose results were released by the state today. 

Mary Lin Elementary School topped all Atlanta schools in third-grade English, while Inman Middle School scored the highest on eighth-grade math test. 


VIDEO: Previous coverage of the Georgia Milestones test

Milestones tests are pegged to our new academic standards.

The tests, which schools began administering in 2015, rank students in four categories: beginning learner, developing learner, proficient learner and distinguished learner. 

APS reported that 64 of its schools achieved overall gains in the percentage of students scoring proficient and above, though it has more work to do to improve struggling schools.

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said she’s “incredibly encouraged” by results from test-takers in the third through eighth grade, where she said the district has been able to narrow the performance gap with the state. 

“The pieces are definitely falling into place,” she said. “I love (that) the foundation is getting stronger. That is probably the best gift we can give high school.” 

At the high school level, APS reported a decline in proficiency in five of the eight end-of-course tests. Geometry fell the most, with a 2.5 percent drop in students who scored proficient and above. 

Carstarphen said that while the year-to-year comparison produced “mixed” results for the district’s high schools, APS has shown gains over the history of the tests

“One year doesn’t tell the whole story,” she said. 

The district is paying particular attention to results at 17 historically low-performing Atlanta schools where it has focused turnaround efforts and invested money to improve schools. Since 2016, when the turnaround strategy was implemented fully, APS reported that all 17 schools saw a decline in the percentage of the lowest-scoring students, categorized as “beginning learners.” 

At 13 Atlanta schools, fewer than 10 percent of third graders scored proficient or above on the 2018 English language arts test. Experts advise that third grade is a critical year for students to become solid readers, a skill that sets them up for later academic success. 

The Atlanta schools with the highest percentage of students who scored proficient and above on 2018 third-grade language arts test are: 

Mary Lin Elementary School -- 80.8 

Morningside Elementary School-- 78.7 

Jackson Elementary School -- 77.4 

Springdale Park Elementary School -- 72.1 

Brandon Elementary School -- 70.4 

Smith Elementary School -- 66.9 

Charles R. Drew Charter School -- 62.3 

Wesley International Academy Charter Facility -- 59.6 

Westside Atlanta Charter School -- 59.5 

Atlanta Neighborhood Charter-Elementary School-- 59.1 

Most Atlanta middle schools saw improvement in 2018 eighth grade math scores. The 10 Atlanta schools with the highest percentage of students who scored proficient and above on that test are: 

Inman Middle School -- 59.8 

Kipp Strive Academy -- 52.9 

KIPP West Atlanta Young Scholars Academy -- 47.3 

Atlanta Neighborhood Charter-Middle School -- 44.7 

Charles Drew Charter School Junior Academy/Senior Academy -- 40.9 

Sutton Middle School -- 39.8 

Kendezi School -- 36.7 

KIPP VISION -- 31.9 

Centennial Academy -- 26.3 

The B.E.S.T. Academy -- 23.8 

Newsroom Data Specialists Jacquelyn Elias and Jennifer Peebles contributed to this article.

The AJC has updated The Ultimate Atlanta School Guide to bring you the latest information on school safety ratings, student demographics and more. Research schools in your community and across the state at schools.myajc.com.

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