BLYTHEWOOD/FAIRFIELD – Advanced middle school students who are able to take high school courses in the eighth grade also are subject to the end of course (EOC) tests.

As a group, the mean or average scores for these high-achieving middle schoolers were better than the state and district averages and area high schools.

Students in three Richland 2 middle schools in the Blythewood area – Blythewood Middle, Kelly Mill, and Muller Road – as well as Fairfield Middle School in the Fairfield School District, took the end-of-course test for Algebra1 and Mathematics for the Technologies. Also, Fairfield allows high achieving students to take English 1 in middle school, and 35 students at Fairfield Middle completed that course and were subsequently tested.

According to the Department of Education website, the EOCEP “encourages instruction in the specific academic standards for the courses, encourages student achievement, and documents the level of students’ mastery of the academic standards.”

In other words, it is a standard way of measuring how well students are learning the subjects taught in the state’s public schools.

EOCEP examination scores count 20 percent in the calculation of the student’s final grade in “gateway courses” (i.e., courses every student must take before graduation). These currently include: Algebra 1, Intermediate Algebra, Biology 1, English 1, and United States History and the Constitution. To meet federal accountability requirements, the EOCEP in mathematics, English/language arts and science is administered to all public school students by the third year of high school.

For school year 2018, all four area middle schools exceeded both state and district averages for Algebra 1, and Fairfield Middle exceeded state and district averages for English 1 as well. This is how they did:

Blythewood Middle: For the 2018-2018 school year, 96 students took the Algebra 1 test, with an average score of 88.3 (out of one hundred points.) Almost 44% scored A on the test; another 40.6 scored B; 13.5% scored C, and only 2.1% scored D. These scores were down from the previous year, when the mean score in Algebra 1 was 90.8, with 58.7% of the students scoring an A and no student scoring below a C.

Kelly Mill Middle: Eighty-eight students took the Algebra 1 test for 2017-2018, with a mean score of 78.9; 20.5% scored an A, while 25% received a B, 33% received a C, 11.4% received a D, and 10.2% received an F. Overall 78.5% received a C or better. Kelly Mill’s scores showed an improvement over the previous year, when the mean was 75.5 and only 7.7% scored A, and about 70% scored a C or better.

Muller Road Middle: Seventy-eight students took the Algebra 1 test for 2017-2018, achieving a mean score of 84 and with 28.2% of the students receiving an A; 35.9% a B; 29.5% a C, and only 6.4% receiving a D or F. These scores were down slightly from the previous year, when the mean was 86.2 with more than 30% scoring an A and almost 98% passing the course with a C or better.

Fairfield Middle: Of the 29 middle schoolers who took the Algebra 1 test in Fairfield School District for the 2017-2018 school year, 24.1% scored an A; 10.3% a B; 17.2% a C; 27.6% a D; and 20.7% an F. The mean score was 74.8 out of a possible 100. These scores were down from the previous year, when the average score was 76 and about 64% of students taking the test received a C or above.

For English 1, the mean score was 79.2, with 25.7% receiving an A; 17.1% a B; 34.3% a C; 20% a D; and only 2.9% an F. These scores, however, were an improvement over the 2016-2017 school year, when the mean score was 76.8, with 18.2% of the students receiving an A and more than a third receiving a D or an F.