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Dawson County Schools sees improvement in Milestones data
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In the fifth year of the Georgia Milestones assessment, Dawson County students have shown improvement above state averages for the 2019 school year.

During the Georgia Milestones Assessment System exams, students in grades three through eight are tested using an end of grade test, while high school students are administered end of course tests at the end of the winter and spring semesters.

Students are graded in four levels, from the lowest, which is beginning learner, to developing learner, proficient learner and distinguished learner. Students who are rated a developing learner or above are considered to have a passing grade.

Dawson County belongs to the Pioneer RESA, one of the most competitive RESA, or Regional Educational Service Agency, regions in the state.

The RESA district encompasses 14 school districts in north Georgia. In seven of eight content areas, Dawson County Schools ranked in the top three systems in the district in grades 3-5 and in the top four for seventh and eighth grade English/Language Arts.

The highlights for Dawson County students in the 2018-2019 RESA ranking includes first place in the district for fifth grade math, fifth grade science and Coordinate Algebra and second place rankings in fourth grade math, fifth grade English/Language Arts and fifth grade social studies.

Reading on grade level increased by 17% for fifth graders, 13% for seventh graders and 11% for ninth graders. Compared to the state and Pioneer RESA averages, Dawson County students scored above the average in English Language Arts in grades 3-8, ninth grade Literature and American Literature.

In the state, Dawson County Schools were in the top 25% for grades 3-6 reading at or above grade reading level and for Biology scored of developing or above.

The district uses the data to set improvement goals. Based on the data, the district set goals to increase the percentage of students reading at or above grade level, increase the percentage of IDEA students scoring developing or higher in English/Language Arts and math and increase the percentage of students scoring proficient and higher in all content areas, with a strong focus on eighth grade science.

The Milestones testing replaced the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) for the 2014-2015 school year and serves the same purpose as gaging where students are in their understanding of the course material.

The purpose of the EOG and EOC assessments is to provide information on how well students are mastering state adopted content standards and assist in improving school and program effectiveness. It also gives students and parents a snapshot into their progress and where improvement is needed.

To find more information about the GMAS and scoring online, visit gadoe.org.