Courtesy Coweta Schools
This chart compares average student performance for the state of Georgia and West Georgia RESA on the 2021-22 Milestone End-of-Grade Tests (Grades 3-8).
The Georgia Department of Education released the Georgia Milestone End-of-Grade and End-of-Course exam results for the 2021-2022 administration Friday, and Coweta County students consistently performed higher on the subject tests compared to statewide averages.
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System is the state’s comprehensive testing program for students, consisting of several subject tests in grades 3-12.
Students are tested in the spring on their grade-level proficiency in English/language arts and math for annual milestone exams in grades 3-8. Students in grades 5 and 8 take additional grade-level tests in science and social studies.
Georgia high school end-of-course exams were administered last school year at the end of students’ courses in ninth-grade American literature and composition, Algebra One, biology, and US history. Due to Coweta County’s block scheduling system, tests were administered in the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 courses.
Student performance on the Georgia Milestones is reported in one of four categories – Beginning Learner (Level One), Developing Learner (Level Two), Proficient Learner (Level Three) and Distinguished Learner (Level Four). These levels are intended to reflect the level of student mastery in the content area within each grade or course.
Coweta County students outperformed their peers statewide and in the surrounding West Georgia RESA area. Combining student performance at the top two levels for comparison (the percentage of students scoring “proficient” and “distinguished”), Coweta’s average test scores were higher in all 15 grades and subject areas in grades 3-8 and seven grades higher. Eight exams in high school, often by significant margins.
Coweta’s average scores also showed a general increase from the previous year.
According to Superintendent Evan Horton, that may signal good news when it comes to concerns about student learning loss at the height of the Covid pandemic.
“For us, these results may tell us that some of that loss may not have been as great for our students as we feared,” Horton said.
Coweta students, like Georgia students, showed significant improvement in subject proficiency in 2022 compared to 2021.
Coweta third-graders scoring in the two highest categories of proficiency in English and language arts rose from 44 percent in 2021 to 49 percent in 2022. Coweta students scoring in the first two levels of eighth-grade math rose from 29 percent in 2021. 45 percent in 2022.
On the high school Algebra 1 test taken in the spring of 2022, 36 percent of Coweta students scored in the highest two levels, compared to 39 percent for the state of Georgia.
However, in the fall of 2021, 61 percent of Coweta students scored in the top two levels, compared to 29 percent of high school students statewide. Both averages were an increase for Coweta students from the previous school year.
“While our students’ scores over the past two years indicate that there has been some learning loss during the pandemic, Coweta County students have not shown the same level of learning loss as many other schools in the state and across the country,” said Dr. Julie Rashen, Coweta’s director of evaluation and accountability.
Rashen said the strong academic foundation for Coweta students has served them well over the past two years.
“I believe that by being open over the last two school years and having students have the ability to sit face-to-face, our teachers and administrators have been able to not only identify gaps in learning and accelerate learning, but also put in place stronger plans. For all our students,” she said.
Superintendent Evan Horton agreed.
“Covid has definitely had an impact on our families, schools and community. “But our children have benefited from returning to school as soon as possible in 2020,” he said. “We were back and open in September 2020 and that gave many of our students an advantage. Since then students have received significant educational interventions.
“I appreciate the dedication of our teachers, the support of our community, and the enthusiasm of our students and families as we strive to improve these results each year,” Horton added.
For complete results from the Georgia Department of Education, visit www.gadoe.org.