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7.27 APS Achieves Gains Across All Subjects on Georgia Milestones
Office of Communications and Public Engagement
130 Trinity Avenue SW | Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Ian Smith, Executive Director
Seth Coleman, Media Relations Manager
APS Achieves Gains Across All Subjects on Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade Assessments
Narrows Performance Gap with State in Elementary and Middle Grades
ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools (APS) achieved its highest gains to-date in the percentage of students who scored proficient and above across all subjects on the 2018 Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade (EOG) Assessments. In addition, compared to the State, the District made progress in narrowing the performance gap in all four EOG subjects. The District achieved year-over-year gains in the percentage of students scoring proficient and above on 18 of 24 (75%) EOG and End-of-Course (EOC) assessments (compared to gains in just over half, 52%, in the previous year). The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) released the 2018 Milestones Assessments results today. Click on the link for detailed EOG and EOC results.
At the school-level, 64 APS schools saw gains overall in the percentage of students scoring proficient and above. All 17 of the District’s Turnaround schools receiving targeted or partnership support – that is, those schools among the lowest performing – have improved since the implementation of the initiative two years ago.
APS has seen longitudinal gains in the six EOC subjects it has administered since the 2015 baseline year. However, this year's EOC results are mixed.
Elementary School End-of-Grade Level Results (Grades 3-5)
At the elementary school level, the District achieved its highest proficiency rates since the tests were implemented by the State in 2015. The biggest year-over-year increases were in social studies (+3.6) and math (+3.4). See Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: APS Milestones End-of-Grade Results: Elementary Grades, Proficient and Above
Middle School End-of-Grade Level Results (Grades 6-8)
At the middle school level, the District also achieved its highest proficiency rates since the tests were implemented by the State in 2015. The biggest year-over-year increases were in science (+4.5) and social studies (+3.4). See Figure 2 below.
Figure 2: APS Milestones End-of-Grade Results: Middle Grades, Proficient and Above
“Our students’ performance on the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade Assessments is encouraging,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen. “Long-term progress can’t be achieved without building the foundation at the elementary and middle school levels. The progress achieved is a great step in that direction. However, there is still a lot of work ahead for us in ensuring that all of our students have a rigorous academic experience to be prepared to succeed in high school and beyond. We remain committed to that work.”
Seventeen of the District’s lowest performing schools receive resources for implementing academic and nonacademic supports that can include additional reading and math specialists, high-impact tutoring, and additional wraparound supports designed to improve academic performance. In addition to District-run schools, as part of the Turnaround strategy, APS has launched four Partnership schools to date; their daily operations and instructional programs are currently overseen by the nonprofit organizations Purpose Built and Kindezi.
When the Turnaround Strategy was fully implemented in 2016, the majority of students at the 17 schools were performing at the beginning learner level. Over the two years of this initiative, all targeted and partnership schools (17 of 17) have seen a decrease in the percentage of students performing at this lowest level. Six of these schools achieved a double-digit decrease. Table 1 shows the change in the percentage of beginning learners using spring 2016 (the year prior to implementation) as the baseline. School year 2017-18 was the first year of partnerships for Gideons ES, Price MS, and Slater ES.
Table 1: APS Milestones End-of-Grade Results: Turnaround Schools, Beginning Learners in All Subject Areas and Change
On the eight EOC assessments tested in 2018, U.S. History shows the highest gain when compared to 2017 with a 2.5 percentage point increase in students scoring proficient and above. Algebra I (+1.8) and Biology (+1.7) also showed gains. Compared to the previous year’s results, the District saw a decline in proficiency in five of the eight EOC assessments. Geometry saw the largest decline (-2.5). APS has seen gains in the six EOC subjects it has administered since the 2015 baseline year. While the longitudinal data, which reflects that the District has made progress in most content areas over the last four years is encouraging, the 2018 data show that APS must continue to focus on its high school performance.
“I am reassured by the longitudinal data we’re seeing coming out of our high schools,” said Dr. Carstarphen. “We’ve seen an 18 percentage point increase in graduation rates, a 10 percentage point gain in college enrollment and gains in the six EOC subjects we have administered since the 2015 baseline year. Although this year’s EOC results are mixed, the long-term data show the progress we’ve made preparing our students for college and career.”
APS 2018 Georgia Milestones School Highlights
- Nine schools had at least 50 percent of students perform at or above proficient learner when averaged across all subjects in elementary grades. These schools are W. T. Jackson (83.9%), Mary Lin (80.6%), Morris Brandon (78.9%), Morningside (78.2%), Springdale Park (77.1%), Drew Charter (K-5) (65.1%), Sarah Smith (64.1%), Atlanta Neighborhood Charter (K-5) (59.5%), and Wesley International Academy (K-5) (54.6%).
- Five schools had at least 50 percent of students perform at or above proficient learner level when averaged across all subjects in middle school grades. They are Inman (65.2%), Atlanta Classical Academy (6-8) (57.9%), Drew Charter JR/SR (53.3%), Sutton (53.3%), and Atlanta Neighborhood Charter (6-8) (50.0%).
- Four schools had at least 50 percent of tested students score proficient and above in Ninth Grade Literature. They are Atlanta Classical Academy (70.5%), Drew Charter JR/SR (68.0%), Grady (67.0%), and North Atlanta (60.6%).
- Three schools had at least 50 percent of tested students score proficient and above in Biology. They are Drew Charter JR/SR (72.2%), Grady (61.2%), and North Atlanta (51.6%).
- The five schools with the largest increases in the percentage of students scoring proficient and above on the EOG assessments when averaged across all grades and subjects compared to 2017 are Hope-Hill (+13.0), Wesley International Academy (K-8) (+11.8), B.E.S.T. Academy (6-12) (+9.8), KIPP STRIVE Primary (K-4) (+7.9), and Drew Charter JR/SR (+7.3).
- The five schools with the largest increases in the percentage of 9-12th graders scoring proficient and above on the EOC assessments when averaged across all subjects compared to 2017 are Drew Charter JR/SR (+11.8), Carver Tech (+7.7), Grady (+4.5), South Atlanta (+3.3), and Therrell (+1.4).
- Over the two years since the launch of the Turnaround strategy, the six Turnaround schools with double digit decreases in beginning learners across all subject areas are Boyd (-16.3), Barack and Michelle Obama Academy (-15.8), Hollis Innovation Academy (-13.6), Gideons (-11.5), Towns (-11.3), and Thomasville Heights (-10.5).
Over the last four years in all schools, APS has worked strategically to address academic challenges across the District. In addition to targeted strategies in the classroom, APS has prioritized its resources based on student needs and has aligned school leadership and school culture strategies, wraparound supports, and other programs and initiatives with a focus on increasing student achievement in all schools. In addition, APS continues to work to ensure that a larger share of its expenditures go directly to classroom instruction. From 2014 to 2017, the per-pupil investment in classroom instruction increased by an additional $894.19.
“I’m proud of the hard work of our APS school community, especially our teachers and school leaders who have embraced our mission and worked hard to improve our performance on Milestones,” Carstarphen said. “I am still hopeful about the future of Atlanta Public Schools.”
About Georgia Milestones
GaDOE assesses student learning across four levels of performance: beginning learner, developing learner, proficient learner, and distinguished learner. This is the fourth year of administration.
EOG Milestones are administered in grades 3 through 8. ELA and Math exams are given in each of those grades. Beginning in 2016-2017, only grades 5 and 8 take the Science and Social Studies assessments. This is in contrast to previous Milestones administrations in which grades 3 through 8 tested in all four subjects. EOC Milestones are administered to high school students at the end of eight courses designated by the State Board of Education.
Previously, APS reported results using the percentage of students scoring developing and above. This year, in alignment with the state, APS is focusing on the two highest levels of performance: proficient and distinguished. EOC figures include all tests administered throughout the year (winter and spring).
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About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 52,000 students across 89 schools. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 61 neighborhood schools, five partner schools, 18 charter schools, two citywide single-gender academies and three alternative programs. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaPublicSchools/ and on Twitter @apsupdate.