Cobb County’s third-graders did better in language arts than third-graders across the state on this year’s Georgia Milestones standardized tests, but most were still not categorized as having mastered the subject. The same was true in fifth-grade math.
Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods has said he wants to see students reading on grade level by third grade and reaching proficiency in math by fifth grade, since a grasp of those subjects by those stages of development is essential as a foundation for future learning.
In Cobb, 44 percent of third-graders were “proficient” or “distinguished” in language arts based on the test scores, compared with 36 percent of third-graders statewide. In fifth-grade mathematics, that proportion of Cobb students was around 44 percent, compared with 38 percent statewide.
The percentages of Cobb students rated proficient or distinguished generally was better in the higher grades, but two math tests gave high school students some trouble: only a little more than 14 percent were proficient in analytic geometry, and just under 19 percent in coordinate algebra. In biology, the proportion of proficient scorers was just under 62 percent and in physical science, more than 70 percent.
Students are ranked in one of four categories in each tested subject: beginning learners have failed to grasp the fundamentals and will require “substantial” help to catch up; developing learners are almost there but still need help to get on track; proficient students have mastered the basics; distinguished students are the top performers.
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