Coweta students outperform state, region in Milestone Assessment Exams
From Coweta County Schools Press Release
Georgia Milestone End of Grade and End of Course exam results for the tests’ 2021-2022 administration were released Friday by the Georgia Department of Education, and Coweta County students consistently showed higher performance on subject tests compared to state-wide averages.
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System is the state’s comprehensive testing program for students, covering a number of subject exams in grades 3 through 12. For the annual Milestone exams in grades 3 through 8, students are tested in the spring on their grade-level proficiencies in English/Language Arts and Math. Students in grades 5 and 8 take additional grade-level tests in Science and Social Studies.
Georgia High School End of Course exams were also administered last school year at the end of students’ courses in 9th American Literature and Composition, Algebra 1, Biology and U.S. History. Because of Coweta County’s block scheduling system, tests were administered in the courses in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022.
Student performance on the Georgia Milestones is reported in one of four categories – Beginning Learner (level 1), Developing Learner (2), Proficient Learner (3), and Distinguished Learner (4). These levels are intended to reflect levels of student mastery of the content area in each grade or course.
Coweta County students outperformed their peers around the state and in the surrounding West Georgia RESA area. Combining student performance in the top two levels (the percentage of students scoring as “proficient” and “distinguished”) for comparison, Coweta’s average test scores were higher in all 15 grade and subject areas in 3rd through 8th grade, and in 7 of 8 exams in high school, often by significant margins. Coweta’s average scores also generally showed increases over the prior year.
That may indicate good news when it comes to concern over student learning loss during the height of the COVID pandemic.
“For us, these results may tell us that some of that loss wasn’t as significant for our students as we feared,” said Superintendent Evan Horton.
Coweta students, like Georgia students generally, showed significant improvements in subject mastery in 2022 over 2021.
Coweta 3rd grade students scoring in the two highest categories of proficiency in English and Language Arts rose from 44% of students in 2021 to 49% in 2022. Coweta students’ scoring at the top two levels in 8th grade math rose from 29% in 2021 to 45% in 2022.
In high school Algebra 1 tests taken in spring, 2022, 36% of Coweta students scored at the highest two levels of proficiency, compared to 39% for the state of Georgia. However, in the winter of 2021, 61% of Coweta students scored at the highest two levels, compared to just 29% of high school students statewide. Both averages were increases for Coweta students over the previous academic year.
“Our student scores over the past two years indicate that while there may have been some loss of learning during the pandemic, Coweta County students have not shown the same levels of learning loss as many other schools across the state and nation,” said Dr. Julie Raschen, Coweta’s Director of Assessment and Accountability.
Raschen said that a strong academic foundation for Coweta students served them well during the last two years. “I also believe that by staying open and students having the ability to remain face to face during the past two school years, our teachers and administrators have been able to identify gaps in learning and put strong plans in place to not just remediate but accelerate learning for all of our students.”
Superintendent Evan Horton agreed. “COVID certainly had an impact on our families, schools and community. But our kids benefitted from returning to school as soon as possible in 2020. We returned in-person in September, 2020, and stayed open, and that gave many of our students an advantage. And students have received significant educational interventions since that time.”
“I have appreciated the dedication of our teachers, the support of our community and the diligence of students and families as we try to improve these results each year,” said Horton.
To see the Georgia Department of Education’s release, go here.