The DeKalb County School District shows slight gains in the second year of the Georgia Milestones scores, though more than two-thirds of the district’s students still failed to reach proficiency.
Superintendent Steve Green said while he recognizes the work that must be done to better educate students, he’s hopeful with some of what the scores show. Among the promising signs, he said, is that in language arts, 29 elementary schools met or exceeded the state average in the percentage of students in grades 3 through 5 scoring in the test’s highest categories: proficient and distinguished learner. Of those, 11 schools were Title I schools, which have a high proportion of low-income students.
“One of the things I’m pleased about is having data relevant and useful … in time where we can use it,” he said.
Across the state, students showed improvement during 2016 Georgia Milestones testing in most subject areas, with the percentage of students achieving the “proficient learner” score increasing in 23 of the 32 tests.
Georgia Milestones was implemented during the 2014-2015 school year as a harder test to ensure the state’s students were better prepared for college and careers.
This was to be the first year where students could be held back for failing the tests. However, glitches during testing will allow schools to use their judgment in whether to hold a student back for low performance. The state Department of Education will still use the scores in grading school performance.
Parents of students who fail the reading exam in third, fifth and eighth grade must have a conference with their school about repeating the grade. The same goes for students who fail math in fifth and eighth grade. The tests also count for a fifth of the grade in high school courses.
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