Cobb ITBS Scores Continue To Top National Averages

Cobb ITBS Scores Up For Three Consecutive Years,
Continue To Top National Averages

Cobb County students again topped national averages on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and posted increases in percentile rank scores for the third straight year (see Table I). The ITBS is administered in September to students in grades 3, 5 and 7 and provides a measuring stick for how Cobb County students compare to other students across the country taking the same test. Third graders had an average composite score of 70th percentile, which means Cobb third graders scored equal to or better than 70 percent of all other third graders nationwide. Composite scores for fifth graders ranked in the 68th percentile, and seventh graders scored in the 64th percentile.

These composite percentile scores represent a one-percent increase at every grade level over 2010 scores.

Administration of the ITBS allows the district to compare the performance of its students to that of other students across the nation who took the same test at the same time of year. ITBS results are particularly helpful in identifying reading or math skills where students may need additional instruction; by administering the test in the fall, teachers have time to work with students before spring CRCT testing begins.  C

ore subjects tested by the ITBS include Reading, Language Arts, and Math. In Cobb County, third graders performed best in Math where they scored in the 69th percentile.  Although not a part of the core total, third grade students scored in the 70th percentile in Science, and in the 68th percentile in Social Studies. Scores in the core subject areas for Cobb fifth graders were at the 63rd percentile in Reading, the 69th percentile in Language Arts, and the 70th percentile in Math. Seventh grade students scored at the 58th percentile in Reading, the 59th percentile in Language Arts, and the 63rd percentile in Math. The percentile scores in Math increased at all three grade levels over 2010. The 2011 scores show no declines in any core subject at any grade level.

“The ITBS scores are a good indication that our students are receiving competitive instruction by national comparison,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa. “The gains in Math, Language Arts and Science are especially encouraging as these academic areas play an increasing role in school performance measures.”

The ITBS is a norm-referenced test that ranks student performance according to percentiles. For example, a student in the 75th percentile scored equal to or better than 75 percent of all students across the nation who participated in the ITBS at the same grade level.  Also reported are grade equivalents, or GE scores. The numbers in the GE score that come before the decimal represent the grade level of the student’s performance, while the digits that follow the decimal represent the month within the grade. A GE score of 5.2 means the student’s performance was similar to that expected of a fifth grader taking the same test during the second month of school. Student scores are reported for the system in Table I.  Individual school scores are reported in Tables IIa–IIc.

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