Preview of DeKalb Schools testing data shows district struggling to address pandemic learning lossImage taken from a slideshow provided by DeKalb County Schools.
This story has been updated.
DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb County School District got a preview of student test data at the school board’s Feb. 13 meeting.
Measures of Academic Progress (M.A.P) scores from winter testing showed 57% of test takers didn’t meet their projected growth in reading, up from 54% last winter and 55% of test takers didn’t meet their projected growth in mathematics, up from 50% last year.
“In Winter 2022-2023, there were 3,025 more test takers in grades K-10,” the presentation on reading scores says. “There was an increase of 3,104 students not meeting reading projected growth over the prior winter test administration. There were 79 fewer students that met reading projected growth over the prior winter test administration.”
It was the same with the math scores, with more students taking the tests.
“In Winter 2022-2023, there were 3,168 more test takers in grades K-10,” the presentation says. “There was an increase of 4,932 students that did not meet math projected growth over the prior winter test administration. There were 1,764 fewer students that met math projected growth over the prior winter test administration.”
Milestones, the other assessment tool used to measure student progress, was slightly improved. According to the preliminary data, 32.2% of students in grades 3-5 were considered proficient or distinguished readers, compared with 30.7% last year. This year’s test results showed 25.6% of students in grades 3-5 were considered proficient in math, compared with 21.9% last year.
In grades 6-8, the scores were about the same. According to the data, 26.32% of 6-8 students were proficient or distinguished learners in reading, compared with 26.92% last year. In math, 20.19% of students were proficient or distinguished in reading, compared with 19.52% last year.
In both cases, there were more test takers this year.
The district’s college readiness benchmarks were also lackluster, with 22.07% of ninth graders and 21.7 percent of 10th graders on track with ACT college readiness in reading, and 12.47% of ninth graders and 13.64 percent of 10th graders on track with ACT college readiness in math. SAT college readiness was slightly better, with 37.9 percent of ninth graders on track in reading and 15.83 percent on track in math.
School district officials are planning to drill into the data, share findings with regional leadership, and plan next steps for addressing the scores. School board members were not pleased.
“Unfortunately, we’re still just abysmal,” School board member Allyson Gevertz said. “It’s still just disheartening to see 70% of our kids not reading. It’s awful. Apparently math was hit harder than reading by some measures.”
Gevertz said she had recently attended a conference and said districts need to use their federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund money to address pandemic learning loss.
“They told us your ESSER money should be pouring in right now,” Gevertz said. “If you’re looking at your reading and math scores, if you’re looking at your third-graders, and they’re not proficient in reading, every single one of them should have money spent on them. There’s research that indicates 1-on-1 tutoring with an adult either during the school day is tacked on to the school day is more effective. If you’re not seeing the results of your ESSER spending, you must pivot and go in a different direction right now.”
School board member Vickie Turner said the school district is just trying to make the best of a bad situation.
“I think if we were all really honest with ourselves, there’s not really any shock here, as coming out of a pandemic, we’re trying to recover,” Turner said. “We’re trying to take the hand we’ve been dealt and make the best opportunities … in the midst of that recovery, we have to deal with the [students’] social emotional state.”
Turner encouraged the district to “make some changes” and “dig deeper.”
“I think a drastic situation requires drastic measures …,” Turner said.
To see the full presentation from the Feb. 13 meeting, click here.
The school board awarded the following:
— The purchase of a Centegix Crisis Alert System for $3.9 million. This is a safety and security enhancement that will be installed in all elementary, middle and high schools throughout the DeKalb County School District.
“The Crisis Alert System has the capability to provide immediate notification in the event of an emergency,”t the agenda says. “With a push of a button, an alert can instantly reach administrators and responders without delay. There is no need for wi-fi or a cell signal to operate the system. Strobe lights, desktop notification and intercom integration are additional ways that the system communicates emergency information to staff and students.”
— Contract extensions with Pediatric Services of America, Inc. dba, Aveanna Healthcare; Cobb Pediatric/The Stepping Stones Group; Delta T Group; and Maxim Healthcare as the most responsive and responsible bidders to provide school health and school nursing services for more than $50,000 per vendor but not to exceed a total contracted amount of $3 million.
— Contract extensions for Progressus Therapy; Community Rehabilitation Associates, Incorporated; Cobb Pediatric/Stepping Stones Group (EBS is now part of the Stepping Stones Group); Comprehensive Therapy Consultants; Pediatric Developmental; Orange Tree Staffing; Atlanta Pediatric Therapy; EDU Healthcare; and Soliant for speech-language, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services for more than $50,000 per vendor but not to exceed the total contracted amount of $9 million.
— The purchase of band uniforms for Columbia High School, Dunwoody High School, and Tucker High School in the amount not to exceed $350,000
— A contract renewal for the Naviance Inc. by PowerSchool, for an additional year in the amount not to exceed $361,370.15. “The renewal will allow the DeKalb County School District to provide a comprehensive college and career platform for twenty-four (24) high schools and twenty (20) middle schools,” the agenda says.
— A contract renewal for the Student Success Agency (SSA) platform for an additional year for an amount not to exceed $215,000. The contract is for mentoring, financial aid coaching, tutoring and advisement.
— Awarding a contract for Disaster Recovery As A Service (DRaaS) to CenturyLink Communications LLC (Lumen) and the purchase of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) for the district, in an amount not to exceed $700,000.
— A contract renewal for the Athletic Department’s Equipment and Uniform Bid with Riddell All American and BSN Sports, LLC, an additional year through May 16, 2024, for an amount not to exceed $1.2 million.
— The school board removed a contract for playground equipment repairs from the agenda. The contract would’ve been awarded to Playworx Playsets LLC, on an as-needed basis during 2023. The contract is for an amount not to exceed $500,000.
— The renewal of a contract for HVAC maintenance and repair services to MAXAIR, Inc., Mechanical Services, Inc. and Sluss and Padgett, Inc. for an additional year in the amount not to exceed $2.5 million.
— The board removed an agreement with Mobile Modular Management Corporation from the agenda. The agreement is for the company to dispose of, relocate, install, and renovate existing portable classrooms to install fire sprinkler systems meeting Georgia State Fire Marshall requirements, in the fixed price amount of $3,110,663.00.
— Awarding a contract to F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates, LLC for the cost of materials, delivery, design and construction services for the construction of an outdoor soccer mini-pitch at both Chapel Hill Middle School in an amount not to exceed $142,284 and Sequoyah Middle School in an amount not to exceed $141,471 for a total of $283,755.
— A contract extension for professional services with BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc., CDH Partners, CORGAN, Croft & Associates, P.C., GSB Architects & Interiors, Inc., Moody Nolan, Inc., Southern A&E, LLC, Stanley, Love Stanley, P.C., Sy Richards, Architects, Inc. and 2WR of Georgia, Inc. on an as needed basis for minor capital improvement projects for an amount not to exceed $3 million collectively.
— Approving the purchase and installation of 12 surface mount drive-on vehicle lifts, from Stertil-Koni Inc. for an amount not to exceed $2.4 million.
— A contract renewal for “turnkey” GPS Technology Systems to Education Logistics, Inc. (EDULOG), not to exceed $796,000.
— Purchasing 30 support vehicles for the transportation department from Wade Ford, Inc., for an amount not to exceed $828,360.90.
— Awarding a contract for architectural and engineering services for the Dresden Elementary School Replacement to BRPH Architects Engineers. The contract is worth $2.3 million.
Correction: Two items listed as approved by the board were actually removed from the agenda prior to approval. This story has been updated with the correct information.
If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here.
Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.
Decaturish is now on Mastadon. To follow us, visit: https://newsie.social/@Decaturish/.
Decaturish is now on Post. To follow us, visit: https://post.news/decaturish.
Decaturish is now on Flipboard. To follow us, visit: https://flipboard.com/@Decaturish