Cherokee County School District students for the seventh consecutive year exceeded State averages on the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests, with significant gains on most tests.
The annual tests assess students’ mastery of Georgia Performance Standards, which set expectations for what lessons students will learn in each grade. Teachers and administrators use the results to improve instructional best practices.
Students in Grades 3-8 take Milestones End-of-Grade exams in core subjects every spring. High school students in specific courses (as well as eighth-graders taking the classes for high school credit) take Milestones End-of-Course exams. Parents received their child’s scores via a ParentSquare email during summer break.
Results measure students’ knowledge as Beginning, Developing, Proficient or Distinguished Learners. Differing groups of students affect year-to-year change within a grade level, and scores in CCSD and statewide are continuing to recover from the pandemic’s impact. The results also include English Language Learners and students who receive Special Education services.
CCSD students who achieved Proficient or Distinguished Learner ratings increased in 15 of 21 assessments across all grades, including a 16.5-point increase in U.S. History, 15-point increase in American Literature & Composition and 10-point increase in Algebra, and held steady in three more.
“We’re proud of our students and teachers and staff for rising to the challenges of the past year and exceeding expectations,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We invested the majority of our federal pandemic relief funds into employing 125 additional teachers last year, above and beyond enrollment growth, to keep class sizes low and support struggling learners. We are making the same investment into 125 additional teachers for this coming school year, and we look forward to seeing our students’ learning continue to improve.”
For third-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving the highest two levels of scores -- Proficient to Distinguished – increased to 57.2% for Math (as compared to 43% for Georgia) up from 54.4% last year, and 46.4% for English Language Arts (36.4% Georgia) up from 45.9%.
For fifth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Proficient to Distinguished scores increased to 57% for Math (36.9% Georgia) up from 51.5%, 53.4% for English Language Arts (41.5% Georgia) up from 47.1%, and 50.5% for Science (39.2% Georgia) up from 45.9%.
For eighth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Proficient to Distinguished scores increased to 50% for Math (31.8% Georgia) up from 42.6% and 48.2% for Social Studies (37.4% Georgia) up from 43.3%; and decreased to 46.1% for English Language Arts (40.5% Georgia) down from 50% (Georgia down from 41.4%), and to 35% for Science (28.9% Georgia) down from 42.7% (Georgia down from 34.6%).
For high school credit courses, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Proficient to Distinguished scores increased to 60.2% for U.S. History (38.9% Georgia) up from 43.7%, 59.4% for Biology (46.2% Georgia) up from 54.6%, 56.3% for American Literature and Composition (42% for Georgia) up from 41.1%, and 47.7% for Algebra I (37.4% Georgia) up from 38%.
“Georgia’s teachers, students, and the rest of our public education family have worked hard to get learning back on track following the disruption of the pandemic,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “From offering expanded summer and afterschool programs to the efforts of dedicated academic recovery specialists, the state, districts, and local schools have been laser-focused on addressing the impact of lost learning opportunities. These results show those efforts are paying off and students’ academic achievement has returned to the upward trajectory it was on prior to COVID-19.”