Two-thirds of Fayette students test ‘proficient’ for college, careers

Two-thirds of Fayette students test ‘proficient’ for college, careers

State testing shows one-third have some catch-up work to do

A recently released report on the Georgia Milestones student assessment system is showing that approximately two-thirds of Fayette County students are scoring at “proficient or above” on the standardized assessments.

School system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said the number of students scoring proficient or above totals 60 percent to more than 70 percent.

“This is a jump in improvement from last year when just over 60 percent of students were performing ‘proficient or above,’ meaning students are considered on track to being college and career ready,” said Berry-Dreisbach. “The percentage of students performing at this level increased for 18 of the 24 tests given last year with the highest gains in third grade math, fourth grade English language arts, fourth grade math, eighth grade science, ninth grade literature and composition, American literature and composition and physical science.”

Berry-Dreisbach said double-digit increases occurred in fourth grade English language arts (11 percent increase), ninth grade literature and composition (12.8 percent increase) and physical science (25.1 percent increase).

Across the board, scores were among the top 20 in the state (this includes county and city systems much smaller than Fayette), and mostly second among the metro-Atlanta public school systems. Test scores tracked well above those of the state, ranging from 17 to 26 percentage points higher, said Berry-Dreisbach.

Students began taking Georgia Milestones assessments in 2014-2015. The testing system is one comprehensive program across grades 3-12, which includes open-ended questions to better gauge students’ content mastery, Berry-Dreisbach said.

Student performance on the Georgia Milestones is reported in one of four categories – Beginning Learner, Developing Learner, Proficient Learner, and Distinguished Learner. These levels are intended to reflect student mastery of the content area in each grade level. The state examines the data based on the top three levels (developing and higher) and top two levels of student performance (proficient and higher).