Pam Nail, Douglas County School System associate superintendent for student achievement and leadership, said the school system did not see the gains it would have liked in the test’s math section.
She added the county’s percentage of those who met or exceeded the standard were higher than the state average for all students in all grades for math, with the exception of the seventh grade, she said.
In addition, this year’s competency test results also reflect that the school system’s greatest gain has been in social studies, Nail said.
The competency test is taken by all third- through eighth-graders and is designed to assess a student’s mastery of grade level standards in five overall subject areas, including reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies.
Student scores on the competency test are calculated and then assembled, by percentages, into four areas for each overall subject.
These percentages are: did not meet, met, exceeded and both met and exceeded the standard.
Nail said that a comparison of percentage scores from 2013 to 2014 shows Douglas County students met or exceeded standards on 16 of the 30 tests throughout all grade levels while remaining the same on one test and showing a decline on 13 tests.
“However, the decrease on these 13 tests was minimal, ranging from two-tenths of a percent to 3.3 percent,” Nail said.
“The subject and grade level gain was seen in eighth grade science, which was up 5.2 percent,” she said.
For the percentage of students exceeding standards, Douglas County had as many, or more, elementary school students exceeding the state average in reading, math, science and social studies, she said.
This is the final year for students throughout the state to take the competency test due to a new assessment testing system being introduced this coming school year. Nail said Douglas County schools will continue to focus on teaching and learning.
“We will utilize resources provided by the Georgia Department of Education to keep our teachers informed and to help prepare teachers and students for new and different types of assessment items,” Nail said.
On an individual school basis, Sweetwater Elementary School showed the most competency test subject area improvements, showing gains in 12 of 15 subject areas at the elementary school grade level, Nail said.
Turner Middle School reflected the most gains at its level, improving in 13 of 15 subject areas.