Cherokee County School District students topped State averages on the Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests for the fifth consecutive year, with important gains in early literacy and math!
The test assess students’ mastery of Georgia Performance Standards, which set expectations for what lessons students will learn in each grade. Students in Grades 3-8 take Milestones End-of-Grade exams every spring in select core subjects; high school students in specific courses (and eighth-graders taking the classes for high school credit) take Milestones End-of-Course exams. Parents will receive their children’s scores next month.
“We’re proud of the hard work by students and teachers that led to these positive results. We value accountability as an important tool for continuous improvement in teaching and learning, but tests are not what drive us,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Our children are not data points. We want them to master core academics, but we also want them to explore the arts, learn job and life skills, have fun, and become the best people they can be.”
Differing groups of students affect year-to-year change within a grade level, but CCSD’s performance continued to improve overall. Results measure students’ knowledge as Beginning, Developing, Proficient or Distinguished Learners; the results include English Language Learners and students who receive Special Education services.
For third-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving the highest two levels of scores -- Proficient to Distinguished -- was: 69% for Math (as compared to 52% for Georgia) and 50% for English Language Arts (42% Georgia).
For fifth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Proficient to Distinguished scores was: 57% for Math (41% Georgia), 58% for English Language Arts (45% Georgia), 51% for Science (43% Georgia) and 42% for Social Studies (31% Georgia).
For eighth-grade, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Proficient to Distinguished scores was: 62% for English Language Arts (47% Georgia), 42% for Math (35% Georgia), 36% for Science (32% Georgia) and 52% for Social Studies (41% Georgia).
For high school credit courses, the percentage of CCSD students achieving Proficient to Distinguished scores was: 71% for 9th Grade Literature and Composition (61% Georgia), 59% for American Literature and Composition (47% for Georgia), 51% for Algebra I (41% Georgia), 57% for Geometry (41% Georgia), 60% for Biology (49% Georgia), 59% for Physical Science (47% Georgia), 64% for U.S. History (48% Georgia) and 66% for Economics (48% Georgia).
Another measure captured by Milestones is the percentage of students reading on grade level. Results show that 83% of CCSD eighth-graders are reading at or above grade level (compared to 74% statewide); as are 82% of CCSD fifth-graders (73% statewide); and 79% of CCSD third-graders (73% statewide). At the high school level, 87% of CCSD ninth-graders demonstrated reading skills at or above grade level (83% statewide), as did 84% of students taking American Literature, typically 11th-graders (75% statewide).
Milestones results are used by teachers and administrators to improve instruction for specific students as well as develop new strategies for the success of classes overall.
Dr. Hightower said he’s very pleased with elementary school gains in English Language Arts and Math, which reflect CCSD’s increased investment in those subjects through new instructional resources, professional development and teacher support through the creation of Instructional Lead Strategist coaching positions. The percentage of students earning Proficient to Distinguished scores on these tests increased from 1 to 7 points across all grade levels.
“We want to see our students’ knowledge grow in every class throughout their CCSD career, but the most important achievement is early literacy,” Dr. Hightower said. “Mastering reading and writing skills impacts children’s success throughout their lives, and I’m so grateful for the investment of our School Board and the dedication of our teachers and administrators.”