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A look at the biggest gains and declines in the latest Milestones for Hall County and Gainesville

The latest Georgia Milestones assessments, which were released Friday, July 26, showed both gains and areas of decline for Hall County and Gainesville students. 

The spring 2019 results, provided by the Georgia Department of Education, included data for third grade through eighth grades, and high school. These Georgia Milestones measure how well students have learned the state’s standards for English language arts, math, science, social studies and other subjects. They’re gauges of whether a student meets the criteria for a beginning, developing, proficient or distinguished learner. 

Third through eighth grades take End of Grade assessments in English language arts and math. Fifth and eighth graders are additionally assessed in science and social students. High schoolers take End of Course assessments in courses designated by the State Board of Education. 

View Milestones results

Milestones results are available for every grade level at each school. Take a deep dive into the results at the Georgia Department of Education website.

The Hall County Milestone scores shared many similarities to the previous year. The system experienced six areas of decreases in the percentage of those scoring proficient and above, all of which were less than a 2 percentage point decline. The large gains for Hall County students this year included ninth grade literature with a 12.5 percentage point jump, third grade math with a nearly 8 percentage point increase and physical science, which went up 9 percentage points. 

“While we would rather not have percentage decreases, the majority of those were less than one percentage point,” said Kevin Bales, Hall County Schools assistant superintendent in teaching and learning. “Nonetheless, the Hall County School District is continually striving to improve student performance on standardized assessments while providing authentic learning experiences for our students.”

Gainesville students showed gains compared to 2018 for scoring proficient and above in 13 different areas. Three of the biggest jumps included a 15.9 percentage point increase in American literature, a 6 percentage point boost in fourth grade math and a 3.8 percentage point rise in seventh grade math for the combined End of Grade and End of Course assessments. Gainesville students experienced more math score increases in third grade, sixth and Algebra I. 

Gainesville’s largest drop in the percentage of proficient and above, involved economics, which decreased by nearly  percentage points. The school system experienced seven other declines in this area, ranging from 2-4 percentage points.

Paula Rufus, director of research and evaluation for Gainesville City Schools, said she is “always happy about gains.”

“We’re mindful of the areas that we need to continue to focus on for improvement,” she said.