Newton and Rockdale County see changes in 2018 Milestones Report

CONYERS — Both Newton and Rockdale County End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) test results for the 2018-19 school year showed some gains and some losses, with most percentages falling short of state averages, according to the 2019 Milestones data released on Friday by the Georgia Department of Education.

Statewide, scores increased or held steady on 25 of 26 assessments – the strongest overall gains recorded in the five years the assessment has been administered. The percentage of students reading on grade level or above increased or held steady in every tested grade and both English language arts high school courses.

“We continue to see increased student performance across indicators – from Georgia Milestones to the SAT and ACT, graduation rate and the number of students finishing high school with an industry-recognized credential,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “This is a testament to the hard work of Georgia’s teachers and students, and an increasing focus on educating the whole child and providing a genuinely well-rounded education. While these gains are worth celebrating, we cannot be all about the test – our job is to prepare students for life. I continue to support a reduction of state assessment requirements to the federal minimum, and more realistic and reasonable accountability requirements.”

The EOG tests were taken by more than 8,873 Newton County and 7,684 Rockdale County students between third and eighth grade.

EOG assessment scores vary by grade and subject. For example, the third-grade English language arts scores can fall between 180 and 830. Meanwhile, third-grade math results range between 290 and 705.

The score is then assigned to one of four categories: beginner, developing, proficient or distinguished learner.

Neither the EOG nor EOC are considered a pass/fail test.

Results can be broken down further by district, school and grade level.

Third grade EOG highlights:

♦ NCSS third-graders’ English language arts mean score (498) dropped five points from last year, placing them 13 points behind the state average. Rockdale increased its average to 500, three points greater than last year.

♦ Both Rockdale and Newton were under the state average math score, Rockdale holding a 13-point deficit at 512 and Newton at 509.

♦ The percentage of ELA proficient learners in Newton County decreased from 28 to 25.3 % and Rockdale increased by .9 %.

♦ The percentage of proficient and distinguished learners in either county did not outpace state percentages.

Fourth grade EOG highlights:

♦ Out of the 1,486 Newton County fourth-graders who took the ELA exam, 24.4 % were considered proficient learners compared to last year’s 29 %.

♦ In Rockdale County, the ELA average rose to 509 from 2018’s score of 505, but the percentage of proficient learners moved from 31.7 % down to 25.4 %.

♦ The two districts shared an average math score of 511, less than last years’ results. The state’s average is 525.

Fifth grade EOG highlights:

♦ 1,505 NCSS and 1,295 RCPS fifth-graders completed the ELA exam. Rockdale’s ELA average was two points higher than last year’s 512.

♦ Newton County increased one point to a 507 ELA average and increased its percentage of proficient learners by .2 %.

♦ RCPS’ percentage of distinguished learners jumped to 6.7 from 2017’s 3.5 %.

♦ Newton County surpassed Rockdale in the math exam by 6 points, increased its distinguished learners percentage to 8.7 % and maintained the amount of beginning learners at 29 %.

Middle grades highlights:

♦ In English, RCPS sixth-graders and the state shared an average of 516, versus NCSS’ average of 497.

♦ Sixth-grade ELA distinguished learners increased from 3.4 to 4 % in Newton and from 2.9 to 8.9 % in Rockdale.

♦ Seventh-graders in RCPS increased their math mean score by two points (507) and Newton by one (506)— below the state’s average of 521.

♦ The percentage of distinguished learners in seventh grade also dropped; NCSS dropping from 6.9 to 6.5 and RCPS shifted from 7.2 to 6.8 %.

♦ Eighth-grade ELA averages in Rockdale (519) matched the state, while Newton dropped to 504.

♦ However, eighth-graders did score higher than Henry County on the math exam; NCSS 498, RCPS 508 and Henry 493. The state average was 508.

♦ Rockdale eighth-graders also had high marks in social studies increasing their average and proficiency rates from 2018’s value of 509 to 511 and 26.4 % to 27.9. Newton increased their average by five points (507.) Morgan County had an average of 525, beating the state’s score of 515.

♦ Lastly, eighth-grade science scores and proficiency levels rose just a smidge. Newton received a 487 average versus the state’s 499 and Rockdale settled with a 488. Newton had 20.9 % proficient learners and Rockdale had 22.6, compared to Morgan County’s 35.9 %.

The End-of-Course assessment is administered to high school students. Subjects include ninth-grade literature, American literature, coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, algebra I, geometry, biology, physical science, U.S. history and economics.

NCSS EOC highlights:

♦ NCSS high school students’ economics mean score dropped eight points, landing at 517.

♦ Out of the 1,399 students who took the U.S. history exam, 29.7 % were considered proficient versus the state’s percentage of 33.9.

♦ 1,468 students took the physical science exam averaging a score of 505. The state average was 527.

♦ The biology average score decreased from 2018’s 514 to 504. The state average was 526.

♦ Coordinate algebra and analytic geometry only had on one student take the exam, making results incomparable.

♦ Out of the 1,410 students who took the American literature exam, 3.2 % were considered distinguished and above their grade reading level.

♦ 48.8 % of ninth-grade literature testers were labeled as proficient or above.

RCPS EOC highlights:

♦ RCPS high-schoolers moved their economics mean score down by 14 points, landing at 501 compared to the state’s average of 527.

♦ 1,187 students completed the U.S. history exam, with 28.4 % scoring at the proficient level.

♦ Only 413 Rockdale students took the physical science exam, marking their average at 539. The level of distinguished learners was also greater (13.8 %) than the state’s 12.9 %.

♦ The county’s biology mean score matched NCSS at 504.

♦ 1,283 students took the analytical geometry exam, with an average score of 491, 10 points higher than last year.

♦ 65.9 % of American literature and 75.7 % of ninth-grade literature test-takers were considered to have reading levels at or above their grade.

♦ Only one student took the algebra and the geometry assessments, making results incomparable.

To know more about GMAS, visit the GDOE website at

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Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.

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