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News

July 26, 2016

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has released Newton County School System’s (NCSS) results from the 2015-16 administration of the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade (EOG) in grades 3-8 and Georgia Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) in grades 9-12).

“We are pleased with the positive growth trend demonstrated by students during the Spring 2016 Georgia Milestones administration,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. The Georgia Milestones is a more rigorous test, with different expectations set for student achievement. Student learning is measured along four levels of performance: Beginning, Developing, Proficient, and Distinguished.  These following designations focus on capturing the progression of student learning and aim to shift the focus away from the reporting of test scores only:

·      Beginning Learners do not yet demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.

  • Developing Learners demonstrate partial proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified by Georgia’s content standards. The students need additional academic support to ensure success in the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
  • Proficient Learners demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are prepared for the next grade level or course and are on track for college and career readiness.
  • Distinguished Learners demonstrate advanced proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are well prepared for the next grade level or course and are well prepared for college and career readiness.

In addition to multiple choice, Georgia Milestones includes constructed response and extended response items which require students to generate, rather than select, responses. The system also assesses writing at each grade level/course.

Despite the numerous technical issues NCSS students encountered while taking the tests, the school district did see numerous areas of improvement over scores from the previous year.

Elementary End-of-Grade Assessment Highlights:

  • Third Grade:  Overall, NCSS third-graders outperformed the state in English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies in 2016. They also posted improvement on their pass rates in Math, Science, and Social Studies compared to their 2015 results. East Newton, Live Oak, Mansfield, Newton County Theme, Oak Hill, and Rocky Plains third graders outpaced the state pass rate in all four test categories this year. In terms of improvement, school system third-graders bettered their pass rates in Math, Science, and Social Studies in 2016. Live Oak, Mansfield, Middle Ridge, and South Salem third-grade students improved their pass rates across the board this year, while East Newton and Oak Hill third-graders showed improved pass rates in three of four subjects.
  • Fourth Grade:  NCSS fourth-grade students topped the state pass rate in English Language Arts and were just one point below the state rate in the remaining subjects in 2016. East Newton, Flint Hill, Mansfield, Newton County Theme, Oak Hill, and Rocky Plains fourth-graders topped the state pass rates in all content areas this year and Heard-Mixon bested the state in three of four categories. Overall, four elementary schools posted across-the-board pass rate gains in fourth grade in 2016: East Newton, Live Oak, Newton County Theme, and Oak Hill. Flint Hill, Heard-Mixon, and Rocky Plains fourth-graders improved their pass rate in three of the four content areas.
  • Fifth Grade:  NCSS fifth-grade students topped the state pass rate in English Language Arts in 2016 but did post improved pass rates in three categories overall—English Language Arts, Math, and Science. Three schools topped the state pass rates in all four subject areas for fifth-graders in 2016: East Newton, Newton County Theme, and Oak Hill; Fairview surpassed the state pass rate in three content areas. Three schools—Flint Hill, Live Oak, and Oak Hill posted increased pass rates in all categories this year; Heard-Mixon, Livingston, Middle Ridge, and South Salem netted gains in three subject areas in 2016.

Middle School End-of-Grade Assessment Highlights:

  • Sixth Grade: While the district as a whole did not best the state in pass rates on the sixth-grade tests in 2016, Newton County Theme School sixth-graders; however, bested the state in all content areas. District sixth-graders did increase their pass percentage in Math in 2016 and Cousins Middle School boasted gains on their sixth-grade pass rates in three subjects—Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • Seventh Grade:  Although NCSS seventh-graders did not top the state in the four content areas in 2016, they are definitely headed in the right direction as they increased their pass rate in all four content areas this year. Newton County Theme School seventh-graders did outperform the state across the board in 2016. Cousins, Liberty, and Veterans Memorial posted increased pass rates in all four subjects while Clements and Indian Creek seventh-graders improved their pass rate in three of four categories.
  • Eighth Grade:  NCSS eighth-grade students topped the state pass rate in Science in 2016 and overall saw improvement in three of the four content areas this year. Newton County Theme School seventh-graders surpassed the state in all categories of the EOG in 2016. Three middle schools—Clements, Indian Creek, and Cousins, posted improved pass rates in all four subject areas and Veterans Memorial showed improvement in three of four.


High School End-of-Course Assessment Highlights:

  • NCSS high school students bested the state pass rates in five out of eight subjects in 2016: 9th-Grade Literature; American Literature; Physical Science; U.S. History; and Economics. The district also increased pass percentage rates in six of the seven possible categories (2016 marked the first year of testing for Algebra I so there are no comparison scores): 9th Grade Literature; American Literature; Analytic Geometry; Biology; Physical Science; and U.S. History. Eastside bested the state pass rates in seven of the eight content areas while Alcovy and Newton topped the state in five and 2 subject areas respectively. In addition, all three high schools showed gains in numerous content areas in 2016. Alcovy improved in all seven subjects and both Eastside and Newton increased their pass rates in six of seven (again, 2016 marked the first year for testing Algebra I so there were no scores to compare to).


NCSS 2015-2016 Georgia Milestones Results

Key to Read Data Charts and Tables:

1 = Beginning Learners
2 = Developing Learners
3 = Proficient Learners
4 = Distinguished Learners

“I am very proud of the progress our students have made in spite of the testing irregularities we experienced with online testing in grades three, five, and eight,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “The improvement demonstrates our commitment to our students and families and is confirmation of the hard-work and focus of our elementary and middle school teachers, leaders, students, staff, and parents.  While we have made a request to State Superintendent Woods to utilize the Iowa Tests as a pre and posttest in grades three-eight, we are in the midst of analyzing the Milestones results to ensure our students are prepared to participate in the Spring 2017 Milestones administration should our petition be denied.  Our high school students have demonstrated improvement which is a testament to the commitment and laser-like focus of our high school students, teachers, leaders, staff, and parents. I expect our high school results to reflect even greater improvement once student re-test data is calculated.” 

For more information on Newton County School System’s 2015-2016 Georgia Milestones Results, contact Dr. Allison Jordan, NCSS Director of Testing, Research, and Evaluation, at jordan.allison@newton.k12.ga.us.

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