Cobb County elementary school students posted improved writing scores on the 2014 Georgia Fifth Grade Writing Assessment and a larger percentage of students met or exceeded standards than in 2013. Eighty-four (84) percent of CCSD fifth graders scored in the meets (200-249) or exceeds (250-350) ranges with a mean scale score of 218 — four points greater than the state average of 214.
Newly implemented writing initiatives helped improve scores at several schools across the district. The percentage of students passing the test at Blackwell increased 21.9 percent over last year, and the average scale score of 228 was 23 points higher than 2013. Fair Oaks and Compton also showed huge gains in the percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards on the writing test, increasing by 19.6 percent and 15.1 percent respectively.
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).