Georgia released school by school and county by county Common Core test results on November 16.
Results show what everyone expected: in most schools students scoring below grade level outnumbered students scoring at or above grade level. In third grade, for example, 60.1% of students performed below grade level in English; in fourth grade, 62.9% of students scored below grade level; and in fifth grade, 60.8% of students scored below grade level.
But a closer look at particular schools shows a bleaker picture. Many schools exceeded 60% of students scoring below grade level. Several third grades around Georgia had more than 90% of students scoring below grade level. But a few schools had 70% score at or above grade level. The biggest discrepancy I noticed in a quick review of third grade raw numbers was one school that had not quite 3% score at or above grade level, and another school which had a little over 80% score at or above grade level.
Counties also showed wide discrepancies. Warren County, a rural county with a 27% poverty rate and a small number of college graduates, showed a mean score of 442 for third graders. Meanwhile Forsyth County, the wealthiest county in Georgia with many college graduates and advanced degree holders, showed a mean score of 544. That is more than 100 points higher than Warren County. Atlanta’s mean score for third graders was 493.
What does it all mean?
- Some schools are doing a much better job preparing their students for the kind of learning tested on the Milestone tests.
- Where a child goes to school matters.
Milestone test results cannot be compared to the results of students in other states because Georgia created its own tests which were given only to Georgia students. This thwarts one of the purposes of the Common Core, which is to allow a comparison of educational achievement by students all over the country.
In the future, whether a child passes to the next grade will be influenced by these test scores. For tests taken in the spring of 2016, Georgia promises test results to be made known sooner.
If you are a parent or a teacher of a Georgia public school student, you can see how your child’s school did and how your county did on these tests by grade level by going to the links below. The data displayed is raw numbers and they are inconvenient to read. For example, column headings are not repeated throughout the data so you must scroll up and down to find out what the numbers refer to. Also, everything is single-spaced, and there are so many columns that they do not all fit on most computer screens at the same time. School districts smaller than a county, such as city school districts, are listed at the end of the tables.
Spring 2015 Milestone tests grades 3 to 8 by school
Spring 2015 Milestone tests grades 3 to 8 by county
Spring 2015 Milestone tests grades 9 to 12 by school
Spring 2015 Milestone tests grades 9 to 12 by county