• In math, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards rose from 56 percent to 67 percent, compared with the state average of 74 percent.
Oglethorpe Elementary, located in a low-income area near the Atlanta University Center, had some of the biggest year-to-year gains in the district.
The percentage of students meeting or exceeding the state standard in reading rose 30 points, to 100 percent -- the highest in the district. In math, 73 percent of fourth-graders met or exceeded standards, compared with 40 percent in 2002.
Oglethorpe’s principal, Diana Quisenberry, said a combination of factors led to the school's turnaround.
First, she points to academic reform programs that have dramatically changed the way the school teaches reading and math.
The school uses Success for All -- in which students are separated by ability level for 90-minute daily lessons -- for reading and Move It Math, a hands-on method that aims to teach concepts, not just computation....
Herndon Elementary in nearby Washington Park had the district's biggest increase in math scores. In 2002, only 23 percent of the school’s fourth-grade class met or exceeded the state’standards in math. The figure jumped to 80 percent in 2003.
Principal Betty Tinsley credited the improvement to the Move It Math program, which the school began using last fall.
“It allows the children to learn in various ways, tapping various learning styles and learning rates,” she said. “Move it Math is phenomenal. If you implement it effectively, it works.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 9, 2003
4th-graders do system proud
State test scores rise in standings
Atlanta is no longer at the bottom of the heap on test scores, at least in fourth grade.
The district leapfrogged over several other metro Atlanta school systems, most notably those of Clayton and DeKalb counties, as its fourth-graders posted across-the-board gains on last spring’s state Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, commonly known as the CRCT. …
The news wasn’t all good, however. The district’s sixth- and eighth-grade students posted the worst scores among the 18 metro school systems in all three subjects tested: reading, English and math.
Math remained the most troublesome spot. More than half of students in grades six and eight did not meet the state standard in math, one of the highest failure rates in the state....
Still, district officials see the fourth-grade results as further proof that the sweeping alterations put in place in the past few years are working. The measures, which include new reading and math programs, have had a greater impact in the early grades, school officials say, because those students have spent a greater portion of their academic careers under the school system's new programs than older kids.
Fourth-grade scores in Atlanta rose in all three subject areas:
• In reading, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards rose from 71 percent to 75 percent, not far from the state average of 80 percent.
• In English, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards rose from 71 percent to 76 percent, just below the state average of 78 percent.