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For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
March 27, 2012
Jay Dillon (770) 426-3345


Cobb Eighth Graders Improve Writing Test Scores

English Language Learners Make Gains For Fifth Straight Year

Cobb County eighth graders increased the district-wide average score on the 2012 Eighth Grade Writing Assessment by a single point, and continued to outperform their peers throughout Georgia. The average scale score of 220 is four points higher than the state score of 216 and matches the average of eighth graders in a comparison group of other metro Atlanta school districts. Eighty-six percent of Cobb students ranked in either the “meets” or “exceeds” category, four points higher than the statewide percentage and equal to the metro comparison group. (see Table I).

Students with limited English proficiency (English Language Learners) posted a fifth consecutive year of gains on the Eighth Grade Writing Test. The percentage of Cobb ELL students meeting or exceeding standards has increased from 42 percent to 61 percent since 2008. The average scale score for ELL students also improved to 201, an increase of 1 point over last year and 15 points since 2008 (see Charts I, II). Students with Disabilities (SWD) posted a slight dip in performance on the writing test, dropping two points from last year to 199, and the percentage of SWD students meeting or exceeding standards declined from 63 percent to 58 percent (see Charts I, II).

The majority of Cobb middle schools performed above the state average score of 216, with scale scores ranging from 206 to 241. Schools with the highest scores include Dickerson (241), Dodgen (237), Hightower Trail (236), and Mabry (233). At nine of the district’s middle schools, more than 90 percent of students met or exceeded standards: Daniell, Dickerson, Dodgen, Durham, Hightower Trail, Mabry, McCleskey, McClure, and Simpson.

The Eighth Grade Writing Assessment is a portion of the statewide testing program that provides a measure for writing skills. Results are based on the eighth graders’ performance preparing a written composition when given an assigned topic. Results of this measure help students, teachers, and parents identify skill areas where improvements may be needed prior to the Georgia High School Graduation Test that occurs in the student’s junior year. Trained professionals score each student’s composition using a scale of 1 to 5 to assess four domains. These domains are qualities of effective writing and include ideas, organization, style, and convention. Cobb students performed similarly across all domains. The scale score range for the new Eighth Grade Writing Assessment is 100 to 350. The following performance levels are used for score reporting: Does Not Meet (100-199), Meets (200-249), and Exceeds (250-350).

Additional information regarding the Cobb County School District’s testing programs is available on the District Web site at

Click here to view the complete release, with data tables.