RCPS Milestones Scores Up, RCPS CCRPI Increases, Stays Above State
CONYERS, GA - Scores from the 2015-16 administration of the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones in grades 3-8 and Georgia Milestones End of Course assessment in grades 9-12) were released by the Georgia Department of Education. These scores reflect the second administration of Georgia’s new comprehensive testing system. However, it is important to note that these test scores represent only one piece of the State of Georgia’s “multiple measure” approach to school accountability known as the College and Career Ready Performance Index, or CCRPI.
“Overall, we have seen an increase in the number of students in the proficient and distinguished levels on this year’s Milestones assessments,” says Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) Superintendent Richard Autry. “Our elementary students remained above state average in every subject area for the second consecutive year. English Language Arts is 3 percentage points above, mathematics is 5 percentage points above, science is 7 percentage points above and social studies is 7 percentage points above the state. The middle school results remained consistent with last year and continue to be closely aligned with the state average in all subjects. The exception is our 8th grade students who performed well above the state average in Coordinate Algebra. High school results show many improvements in the proficiency levels, especially in Mathematics and Biology. Coordinate Algebra scores are 2 percentage points above the state average and Geometry scores increased 4 percentage points over the previous year; English scores remained relatively constant. Science exhibits the most dramatic spread with Biology scores increasing 16 percentage points and above the state average. We have already begun analyzing our data which will help guide our work as we begin this new school year. As the new CCRPI accountability system begins to stabilize, RCPS continues to learn and understand the overwhelming number of measurement indicators and how they are calculated. Administrative teams in the schools and in the Central Office are becoming much more targeted and proficient with this accountability instrument.”
The RCPS overall CCRPI score grew nearly 4 percentage points over last year’s score to 76.5 out of 100 points. For the second year in a row, RCPS has outperformed the state average on the CCRPI. In conjunction with CCRPI, one of the overarching measures of yearly PK-12 success in our district is our graduation rate. Our four-year cohort graduation rate is the highest it has been in the era of accountability. The RCPS four-year average increased another 7.4 percentage points to a graduation rate of 83.3%. All high schools exceed the mark of 80% and are now approaching the 90% threshold. This means over 4 out of 5 RCPS students are graduating on time and receiving a diploma in four years. This has been a dramatic increase from five years ago when the four-year cohort rate was 66%. This year’s figure represents a 17 percentage point increase during this time period. A total of 1,166 students received their diploma this year and were awarded over 18.5 million dollars in scholarships.
Another measure of CCRPI, the Climate Star Rating, was released by the Georgia Department of Education earlier this year as a means of communicating the results of perception surveys administered to parents, students, and staff at all schools. Overall, the District at large scored 87 out of 100 points on the rating system which earned a four-star rating. Both elementary and high schools earned four-star status with our middle schools earning three-star status.
With this being the second year of results from the Milestones assessments, it is also important to note a few of the differences between the Milestones assessments and the former CRCT and EOCT assessments. Milestones includes open-ended test items in English Language Arts and Mathematics allowing students to explain their answers which is a significant change for Georgia. These items, including the assessment of writing as part of the English Language Arts tests, provide students the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their understanding relative to the standards being assessed.
Milestones Are Not Pass/Fail Tests
Milestones assessments are designed to report student achievement along a continuum – from Beginning Learner to Distinguished Learner – to signal the degree to which a student has mastered the knowledge and skills within the content standards in the course.
Georgia Milestones contains four Achievement Levels rather than just three as was the case with the previous CRCT, EOCT, and Writing Assessments. This allows students, parents, and schools to have a more precise indication of student achievement.
Beginning Learners (Level 1) do not yet demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
Developing Learners (Level 2) demonstrate partial proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified by Georgia’s content standards. The students need additional academic support to ensure success in the next grade level or course and to be on track for college and career readiness.
Proficient Learners (Level 3) demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are prepared for the next grade level or course and are on track for college and career readiness.
Distinguished Learners (Level 4) demonstrate advanced proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary at this grade level/course of learning, as specified in Georgia’s content standards. The students are well prepared for the next grade level or course and are well prepared for college and career readiness.
End of Course for Grades 9-12
State law requires that the Georgia Milestones End of Course measures serve as the final exam for EOC courses and that the test results contribute 20% of a student’s final course grade. The Grade Conversion score is provided on the individual student report to fulfill this requirement.
To view all of the Milestones results, please visit the Georgia Department of Education at www.gadoe.org.