Phone: (770) 787-1330 Fax: (770) 784-2950 Email: info@newton.k12.ga.us

News

July 20, 2017

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).

“The Georgia Milestones is a more rigorous test, with different expectations set for student achievement,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County School System. “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 that require students to generate, rather than select, responses. The system also assesses writing at each grade level/course.

“While we are not yet where we wish to be with regard to our state assessment results, we continue to make progress,” said Fuhrey. “It is important to note that these data are preliminary in that they reflect scores produced by those students who did not attend our schools for the ‘full academic year’ as defined by the Georgia Department of Education, and the results do not yet reflect the retest data for students in grades three, five, and eight. When the results are ‘re-released’ as part of the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), they will then be final and will likely look different.”

See below for highlights of the 2017 NCSS Georgia Milestones Assessments: 

Elementary End-of-Grade Assessment Highlights:

Third Grade:  Overall, NCSS third-graders outperformed the state in English language arts but trailed Georgia in mathematics. Nine elementary schools bested the state in English Language Arts, including East Newton, Fairview, Heard-Mixon, Live Oak, Mansfield, Newton County Theme School, Oak Hill, Rocky Plains, and South Salem. In addition, four of those schools—Heard-Mixon, Mansfield, Newton County Theme School, and Rocky Plains, also outperformed the state in mathematics. 

In terms of improvement, the district and eight elementary schools—Fairview, Heard-Mixon, Mansfield, Newton County Theme School, Oak Hill, Porterdale, Rocky Plains, and South Salem—increased their pass rates in English language arts from the previous school year. Porterdale Elementary School also increased passage rate in mathematics in 2016-2017. 

Fourth Grade:  NCSS fourth-grade students topped the state pass rate in English language arts and matched the state rate in mathematics in 2017. Nine elementary schools—East Newton, Fairview, Heard-Mixon, Live Oak, Mansfield, Newton County Theme School, Oak Hill, Porterdale, and Rocky Plains—bested the state in mathematics and eight schools topped Georgia in mathematics, including: East Newton, Heard-Mixon, Live Oak, Livingston, Mansfield, Newton County Theme School, Oak Hill, and Rocky Plains. 

The district and twelve elementary schools—East newton, Fairview, Heard-Mixon, Live Oak, Livingston, Mansfield, Middle Ridge, Oak Hill, Porterdale, Rocky Plains, South Salem, and West Newton—posted increased pass rates on both the fourth-grade English language arts and mathematics tests in 2017. Newton County Theme School saw an increased pass rate in mathematics this year.

Fifth Grade:  NCSS fifth-grade students topped the state pass rate in English Language Arts in 2016 but trailed Georgia in mathematics, science, and social studies. Three schools topped the state pass rates in all four, subject areas for fifth-graders in 2016: East Newton, Mansfield, and Newton County Theme. Oak Hill and Flint Hill bested the state in three areas—English language arts, science, and social studies and Rocky Plains outperformed the state in two subjects—English language arts and social studies. Heard-Mixon also topped the state in English language arts. 

The district score pass rate increased in English language arts but dipped in the other three subject areas although Mansfield Elementary School fifth-graders improved their pass rate across the board in 2017. East Newton, Live Oak, and Rocky Plains posted increased pass rates in three subjects—English language arts, mathematics, and social studies in 2017. Heard-Mixon improved in English language arts and mathematics; Livingston increased pass rates in mathematics and social studies; and Newton County Theme School improved pass rates in English language arts and science last school year. Both Flint Hill and Oak Hill increased their pass rate on the English language arts test in 2017.

Middle School End-of-Grade Assessment Highlights:

Sixth Grade: NCSS sixth-grade students trailed the state in English language arts and mathematics in 2017; however, Clements and Newton County Theme School both topped the state pass rate in English language arts and the Theme School also bested the state in mathematics. Although the sixth-grade class did not top the state overall, every Newton County middle school posted increased pass rates on the English language arts test. Indian Creek Middle School sixth-graders also improved their mathematics pass rate in 2017. 

Seventh Grade:  NCSS seventh-graders overall did not match the state pass rate in English language arts and mathematics in 2017; however, both Clements and Newton County Theme School did surpass the state pass rate in English language arts. Newton County Theme School also bested the state in mathematics on the seventh grade test in 2017. The NCSS seventh-grade class did increase their pass rate in mathematics in 2017. At the school level, both Clements and Cousins increased their pass rate on both the seventh-grade English language arts and mathematics tests. Newton County Theme School increased the seventh-grade pass rate in mathematics in 2017. 

Eighth Grade:  NCSS eighth-grade students surpassed the state pass rate in English language arts but trailed the state in mathematics, science, and social studies in 2017. At the school level, Newton County Theme School topped the state in every category and even posted a 100 percent pass rate on the English language arts test last year. Cousins bested the state pass rates in English language arts and mathematics while Indian Creek outperformed the state in English language arts and science. Liberty Middle eighth-graders topped the state in mathematics and Veterans Memorial Middle School eighth-graders outperformed the state in English language arts.  

NCSS eighth-graders overall improved their pass rate on the English language arts exam in 2017 and at the school level, Cousins showed improvement in three of the four subjects—English language arts, mathematics, and social studies. Newton County Theme School improved in English language arts and mathematics and maintained their pass rate in social studies in 2017. In addition, the school’s eighth-grade class posted a 100 percent pass rate on the English language arts test. Indian Creek showed improvement on the English language arts and science tests while Liberty and Veterans Memorial posted increased pass rates on the mathematics and English language arts tests respectively.

High School End-of-Course Assessment Highlights:

NCSS high school students topped the state in economics and ninth-grade literature and matched the state in physical science in 2017. At the school level, Eastside High School bested the state in biology, physical science, U.S. history, economics, American literature, geometry, and ninth-grade literature. Alcovy topped the state in physical science and economics and Newton High School surpassed the state on the ninth-grade literature test. 


In terms of improvement, NCSS overall increased pass rates on both the ninth-grade literature and the American literature tests. Alcovy High School posted gains on the ninth-grade literature exam and matched their pass rates on both the American literature and biology tests in 2017. Eastside students showed improvement in ninth-grade literature, American literature, and economics and Newton High School posted gains in ninth-grade literature, American literature, and biology.

“Although this data is helpful, it is critical to remember that our students are much more than a number generated by any one assessment given in any one moment in time,” said Fuhrey. “Our students, throughout the school year, have achieved many milestones concluding the 2016-2017 school year with the graduating class receiving more than $30 million in academic, athletic, and fine arts scholarships. We closely analyze and monitor multiple indicators, including Milestones data, to determine the progress that our students make as they matriculate through the school system and the need to adjust our practices to better serve our students.”

Fuhrey added, “Last school year, we administered Iowa Assessments to provide teachers and schools with relevant achievement information. The resulting data has been instrumental in providing a reliable, valid national perspective regarding our students’ achievement, demonstrating growth over the course of one academic year, and providing parents, teachers, and schools with actionable reports within 24-48 hours of the assessment administration.  Our NCSS Iowa Assessments have demonstrated improvement across all grade levels from the pre-test administration given in August to the post-test administration in May. I am pleased and proud of the hard work, dedication, and focus of our teachers and leaders. They continue to work diligently to prepare students for life beyond high school, and I look forward to all that our students will accomplish in the 2017-2018 school year!”

For more information on Newton County School System’s 2016-2017 Georgia Milestones Results, contact Dr. Allison Jordan, NCSS Director of Testing, Research, and Evaluation, at jordan.allison@newton.k12.ga.us.

###