Cobb, Marietta students raise average scores on state writing test
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
March 31, 2012 12:00 AM | 1583 views | 7 7 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Cobb County and Marietta eighth-graders increased their average scores on the 2012 Eighth Grade Writing Assessment, and Cobb students topped the state average.

Cobb’s 7,984 eighth-graders averaged 220 points, one point higher than 2011’s 219 and four points above the state average of 216.

The 562 Marietta test-takers averaged 213, two points higher than last year’s 211 but three points below the state average.

“Writing is a critical skill at all levels and across all subjects,” Marietta Superintendent Dr. Emily Lembeck. “We need to be sure that we are providing sufficient opportunities and appropriate instructional strategies to increase the number of students who write effectively.”

Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa is out of town for a superintendent’s summit in Florida and was unable to comment.

Cobb County reported that English Language Learner students made gains in scores for the fifth year in a row with an average scale score of 201, up one point from 2011 and 15 points since 2008.

Scores in Cobb ranged from 206 to 241, with Dickerson students averaging 241; Dodgen, 237; and Hightower Trail, 236; being the three highest scoring middle schools in the district and Cooper, 206; Imagine International Academy of Mableton, 206; and Smitha, 208, being the three lowest scoring middle schools in the district.

Of Cobb’s schools, 15 saw an increase in scores since 2011. The schools that saw the biggest improvement were Campbell, whose score went up nine points; Floyd, six; and Awtrey, Hightower Trail and McClure, five.

Eight middle schools saw a drop in scores. The schools that saw the largest drops were Imagine Mableton with 11 points; Simpson, seven; and Cooper, six.

Three schools did not see changes in scores. Additionally, 16 of the 26 schools scored above the state average of 216 and 10 fell below the average.

The eighth-grade writing test is a portion of a statewide testing program that measures writing skills. Results, judged by trained professionals, grade students on four domains of effective writing, ideas, organization, style and conventions. The scale score range is 100 to 350 points.
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bogus1
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April 08, 2012
If you want a true comparison, track last year’s 8th grade students score with this year’s 9th grade writing score. For example, if the average IQ of last year’s 8th graders was 112 and this year’s 8th graders was 120 then you would expect an increase in scores. Many will point out that 9th graders didn’t take this writing test, exactly.
anonymous
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April 03, 2012
What?

These results are impossible!

Cheating must be involved.

Everyone knows that there is NO WAY that scores can improve year over year while class size has INCREASED, teacher salaries have DECREASED, and the school budget has been dramatically CUT. And, of course the schools switched back to the horrid traditional calendar - which exhausts students and teachers, hurts retention, causes epidemics, and is just Bad.

There is NO WAY this could have happened. Everyone knows that these results could imply that everything we believe is wrong, and that focusing on pressuring teachers to perform could have a positive impact.
Invalid Comparison
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April 02, 2012
I can't believe that this continues to get press...it's a completely invalid comparison - not only are the tests different (new prompts each year), the kids are different, too! This year-to-year comparison is meaningless.

That being said, it is good to see how we do, school-to-school and district-to-district. I know some of the middle schools used some new programs this year (e-folio and going green)...wonder if they helped.
Aim High
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April 01, 2012
Four points above state average and one point below state average? This includes all lower-SES in the APS, and all rural schools that lack internet and other resources?

You must be so proud!
Just Sayin'
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March 31, 2012
The balanced calendar advocates were quick to assert that scores improved because of that calendar.

Seems that scores can also improve under a traditional calendar too!

anonymous
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April 02, 2012
The silence is quite telling, isn't it?
Wow.
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April 02, 2012
One whole point. Maybe with the balanced calendar it would've been more...but we'll never know.

There ya go, anonymous - that was just for you.
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