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For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
May 17, 2012
Jay Dillon (770) 426-3345


Cobb Fifth Graders Top State on Writing Test

Results from the 2012 Georgia Fifth Grade Writing Assessment show Cobb County students continue to outperform their peers across the state in writing skills. Cobb students’ average scale score of 217 is four points higher than the state score of 213; both the local and state averages dropped by a single point from 2011. Eighty-four percent of Cobb students met or exceeded expectations on the assessment, a one percent improvement over 2011.

Across the district, 37 Cobb elementary schools had mean scale scores higher than the state average. Thirty-two schools saw an increase in their scale scores over the previous year. King Springs, Kennesaw Charter, Keheley and Compton elementary schools all posted strong gains in scale scores over 2011, with King Springs showing the highest increase of 25 points. King Springs and Tritt shared the top scale score of 246. Schools with the greatest increase in students meeting or exceeding standards include Russell (+17 percent), Keheley (+16 percent), Compton (+16 percent), King Springs (+13 percent) and Acworth (+11 percent).

Linda Keeney, principal of King Springs Elementary, said her students have benefitted from a rigorous emphasis in writing across all grades and content areas throughout the last year. “Our teachers are modeling writing in every class and grade, every day,” said Keeney. “We are using anchor papers [scored writing samples designed by the State Department of Education] and an excellent writing curriculum. In the end, it comes down to our teachers and a consistent team effort to get students to write.”

Overall, the five schools with the highest scale scores were King Springs (246), Tritt (246), Sope Creek (244), East Side (239), and Timber Ridge (238). Schools with the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations include Tritt (99 percent), Kennesaw Charter (99 percent), Sope Creek (98 percent), Due West (97 percent), and King Springs (97 percent).

Mean scale scores for Students With Disabilities (SWD) and English Language Learners (ELL) both dipped slightly over 2011 averages. Fifty-six (56) percent of students with disabilities met or exceeded expectations, compared to just 46 percent statewide. The percentage of students with limited English proficiency meeting or exceeding standards declined from 63 percent to 53 percent this year.

As a part of the statewide testing program, the Fifth Grade Writing Assessment was administered in March and requires students to write a composition on an assigned topic. The assessment provides fifth graders with a measurement of their writing performance. The assessment includes different aspects of writing, or domains, which include Ideas, Organization, Style, and Conventions. Domains are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Performance of Cobb fifth graders as a whole was similar across all domains, ranging from 2.9 in Conventions to 3.1 in Style. This information can help students, parents, and teachers understand areas where students may need to focus their efforts to improve writing skills before taking the Eighth Grade Writing Assessment.

Each student paper is scored by professionals who have been trained to evaluate writing. Evaluators score student compositions on the four domains of effective writing (Ideas, Organization, Style, and Conventions), all of which should be present in a composition regardless of the topic.

The scale score range for the Grade 5 Writing Assessment is 100 to 350, and scores are reported in the following performance levels: Does Not Meet (100-199), Meets (200-249), and Exceeds (250-350). Summary data for the Fifth Grade Writing Assessment by school may be found in Tables I and II.

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