57 APS Schools See Improvements on Georgia Milestones
Friday, July 21st, 2017
Based on results of the 2016-2017 Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade and End-of-Course Assessments released by the Georgia Department of Education, 57 – or about two-thirds – of schools in Atlanta Public Schools achieved gains in their overall assessment results, 17 more than last year.
Among the results, the district saw significant EOC improvements in five high school subjects. Also, APS improved district-wide in the EOG mathematics assessments, which tested elementary and middle school students.
“We are encouraged by the progress, especially when two-thirds of our schools improved on their Georgia Milestones as compared to the year before,” said Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen. “I am especially proud of our elementary and middle school students for their achievements in mathematics and our high school students for achieving gains in so many subjects.”
Additionally, most APS schools receiving targeted interventions as part of the Turnaround Strategy – that is, 16 of the district’s lowest-performing schools – saw gains when scores were averaged across all subject areas. These interventions include more reading and math specialists, high-impact tutoring and additional wraparound supports.
Georgia Milestones Assessments measure student performance using four levels: Beginning Learner, Developing Learner, Proficient Learner and Distinguished Learner. This is the third year these tests have been based on the new more rigorous Georgia Standards of Excellence. All results for Atlanta Public Schools are available here.
On the EOG tests for grades 3 through 8, 50 APS schools showed improvements in the percentage of APS students scoring at Developing and Above when averaged across all subject areas. Towns (11.9 percentage points), Thomasville Heights (11.6), Long Middle (9.8), Dunbar (9.4), D.H. Stanton (9.2), BEST Academy (8.3) and Boyd (8.1) achieved the largest gains among these schools. (See Table 3 in Appendix for full listing.)
As can be seen in Table 1, the district percentages of students scoring Developing and Above ranged from 51.7% in Science to 65.2% in Mathematics.
On the EOC tests, 10 schools achieved gains in the percentage of students scoring at Developing and Above when averaged across all tests. Crim (20.8 percentage points), Washington (11.3), Carver School of Technology (10.6) and Douglass (9.9) posted the largest gains. Three schools – BEST, Drew and Forrest Hill Academy – saw improvements in both the EOG and EOC.
Ninth Grade Literature & Composition had the highest overall achievement levels with 74.4% of students scoring Developing and Above, followed by American Literature & Composition at 70.5%.
The highest EOC gains were in Ninth Grade Literature & Composition (11.1 percentage points), Physical Science (6.6) and Economics (5.8) compared to the 2015-2016 results. The district saw a 6.2 percentage point decline in Algebra I. (However, an update to the sequence of math courses students take in high school changed the population of students tested between 2016 and 2017. Several hundred more students tested in 2017.) Comparisons for Geometry are also not possible because the Geometry assessments were administered by the state for the first time in 2017.
APS students in grades 3-8 achieved a 2.8 percentage point gain in Mathematics, and a .4 point increase in Social Studies. However, small decreases were obtained in ELA (-1.1 percentage points) and Science (-1.0 percentage point).
“We can definitely see progress among these results, and we have seen gains in most of the schools receiving targeted assistance as part of the district’s Turnaround Strategy,” Carstarphen said. “While our focus on mathematics instruction in 2016-2017 clearly had a positive impact, our results also shows a clear need to focus on English and Language Arts in the elementary years. That is why the district has engaged with numerous ongoing and game-changing partnerships with a focus on literacy and ensuring that all of our students are reading on or above grade level.”
Some of these partnerships involve the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction and the Wilson Reading Program in our Title I schools and the use of the Really Great Reading phonics program with the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy in the Douglass Cluster.
During the 2014-2015 school year, the GaDOE completed a transition to new tests in grades 3-8 and eight high school end-of-course exams. For the past three years, the tests have been based on the new Georgia Standards of Excellence and are more in line with national standards.
APS 2016-2017 Georgia Milestones highlights:
Fourteen schools had at least 75% of students perform at or above the Developing Learner level averaged across all subjects in elementary grades. These schools are Warren T. Jackson (96.3%), Mary Lin (95.3%), Morris Brandon (94.4%), Springdale Park (93.1%), Morningside (92.6%), Atlanta Classical Academy (91.7%), Charles R. Drew Charter (90.4%), Atlanta Neighborhood Charter (88.2%), Sarah Smith (85.7%), West Manor (81.4%), Burgess-Peterson (81.1%), E. Rivers (79.3%), Garden Hills (78.0%) and Wesley International (77.3%).
Seven schools had at least 75% of students perform at or above the Developing Learner level averaged across all subjects in middle school grades. They are Atlanta Classical Academy (91.5%), Atlanta Neighborhood Charter (85.4%), Inman (84.8%), Charles R. Drew Charter (81.3%), Sutton Middle (80.0%), KIPP STRIVE (76.6%) and KIPP WAYS Academy (75.8%).
Six high schools had at least 75% of students perform at or above the Developing Learner level in American Literature & Composition. They are North Atlanta (88.7%), Grady (88.6%), Charles R. Drew Charter (87.8%), KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (79.1%), Coretta Scott King (78.4%) and Maynard H. Jackson (78.2%).
Seven high schools had at least 75% of students perform at or above the Developing Learner level in Ninth Grade Literature & Composition. They are Atlanta Classical Academy (98.1%), Grady (90.8%), Charles R. Drew Charter (90.7%), North Atlanta (88.2%), KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (84.4%), Maynard H. Jackson (83.8%) and Carver Early College (83.5%).
Five high schools had at least 75% of students perform at or above the Developing Learner level in U.S. History. They are Grady (80.3%), KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (77.6%), North Atlanta (76.7%), Carver Early College (76.1%), Charles R. Drew Charter (75.0%).