This week, Forsyth County Schools released the results of the 2018 Georgia Milestone assessments, congratulating students on top results in a number of different categories.
The 2018 scores, which were released on July 27, show that Forsyth County students far exceeded the state average in several categories, including third-grade English and eighth-grade math.
“I am proud of the work of our students and staff on the Georgia Milestones,” said Jeff Bearden, Forsyth County Schools superintendent, in a news release. “These assessments provide us valuable information to support and grow student learning for not only the next grade level, but also for college and career readiness.”
The release stated that for 2018 end of course assessments, Forsyth County students scored first in the state for geometry, second in the state for American literature, third in the state for economics, fifth in the state for algebra 1 and ninth-grade literature, and eighth in the state for U.S. history scores.
According to a Georgia Department of Education news release, students in grades 3 to 12 began taking Georgia Milestones assessments in 2014-15.
The release states that students in grades 3 through 8 take assessments for English language arts, math, science and social studies, while high school students take assessments in “designated core subjects” including literature and composition, American literature and composition, algebra I or coordinate algebra, geometry or analytic geometry, biology, physical science, U.S. history and economics.
Results of the assessments are categorized by four different levels of proficiency, from beginning learner, developing learner, proficient learner to distinguished learner.
Across the board, Forsyth County schools had a higher percentage of proficient learners or better than the average in Georgia.
Beth Kieffer, Assessment and Accountability Director for Forsyth County Schools, said that in third, fifth and eighth grade, students are assessed on whether they are progressing or whether they should be retained. Kieffer said that third-grade students are assessed for reading skills while fifth- and eighth-grade students are assessed for English language arts and math skills.
In third, fifth and eighth grade, for both math and English language arts, the percentage of Forsyth County students who received proficient or higher score outstripped the state average.
Kieffer said that the takeaway from these strong results is that what the school system is doing is working, but there is always room to improve.
“We have such a great base of students and teaching staff,” Kieffer said. “We did well and we always will do well because we take these results and see where we need to focus on.”
Kieffer said they saw improvements across most grade levels compared to 2017 assessment scores, and now they can focus more targeted approaches towards areas that did not improve.
Between the 2017 and 2018 assessments, the percentage of proficient learners and above for third- and fifth-grade English language arts rose by 2 percent, while the percentage of eighth-graders remained unchanged at 72 percent.
For math assessments, percentages rose by 4, 2 and 3 percent, for third-, fifth- and eighth-graders respectively.
By the numbers
English (percentage of proficient learners or above)
Grade 3: 36 percent
Grade 5: 38 percent
Grade 8: 43 percent
Grade 3: 64 percent
Grade 5: 69 percent
Grade 8: 72 percent
Grade 3 top scoring school: Daves Creek Elementary — 90.2 percent proficient learners or above
Grade 5 top scoring school: Johns Creek Elementary — 90.6 percent proficient learners or above
Grade 8 top scoring school: Riverwatch Middle School — 88.4 percent proficient learners or above
Math (percentage of proficient learners or above)
Grade 3: 42 percent
Grade 5: 37 percent
Grade 8: 42 percent
Grade 3: 75 percent
Grade 5: 73 percent
Grade 8: 73 percent
Grade 3 top scoring school: Daves Creek and Big Creek Elementary — 96.2 percent proficient learners or above
Grade 5 top scoring school: Daves Creek Elementary — 96.7 percent proficient learners or above
Grade 8 top scoring school: Riverwatch Middle School — 94.8 percent proficient learners or above