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How Statesboro High Increased Math Proficiency by 84 Percent

Written by
May 11th, 2017

Located fifty miles from Savannah, Georgia, Statesboro High School (SHS) serves a diverse student body of approximately 1,500 in Bulloch County. Founded in 1901, SHS strives to be a model of excellence in public education, and to ensure that each of its students is uniquely prepared to enter the workforce.

Most educators recognize the fundamental role math education plays in preparing students for college and career opportunities. Like many of their counterparts nationwide, however, students at SHS were struggling to grasp foundational mathematics concepts, like those found in Analytic Geometry and Algebra.

While the 38 percent End-of-Course (EOC) math proficiency rate the school posted in the 2013-14 school year bested the state average, its math instruction team, led by Jake Collins and Diana Johnson, believed their students could and needed to do better. They decided to sit down and review how the tools they had at their disposal could be better used to help a higher percentage of their students reach proficiency.

One of those tools was Illuminate’s Education Intelligence Platform.

The EOC is a state-administered, 71-question math assessment that consists of algebra, geometry, statistics, and number sense questions. Requirements vary state, but Georgia law stipulates that EOC results count 20 percent toward the student’s final grade.

Taking advantage of Illuminate’s data and assessment platform (DnA), Collins and Johnson established a three-tier, technology-enabled data inquiry approach that targeted each of these problem areas. In each instance, the team sought to leverage Illuminate’s innovative system to drive instruction, foster greater collaboration, and improve overall student performance.

Statesboro High School implemented Collins’ and Johnson’s three-tiered approach at the start of the 2014-15 academic year. That same year, the school’s passing percentage on the EOC climbed from 38 percent to 70 percent—an improvement of 84 percent. Not surprisingly, a higher percentage of students passed the class.

No less important, student engagement in the learning process itself improved dramatically. Students were able to use their phones to access information that related to their individual learning goals. They sought out their instructors for help with specific standards. They assumed greater responsibility for their own learning goals.

In partnership with Illuminate Education, Statesboro High saw positive results:

  • EOC passing percentage climbed from 38% to 70% (increase by 84%)
  • Student mastery jumped from 12.5% to 53.8% in 8 months for first-year instructor
  • A higher percentage of students passing the class and taking ownership of their learning

“By taking advantage of Illuminate’s capabilities, we were able not just to improve proficiency scores but to foster an environment that made learning itself more enjoyable,” recalls Collins.

“The goal was to give students greater control over their own education,” adds Johnson. “Illuminate provided us with the resources we needed to make that possible.”

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