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Pass rates improve on state graduation test

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

School officials are reporting gains in the state's annual graduation assessment.

The Georgia Department of Education recently released the statewide results of this year's Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT), and the percentage of pupils meeting standards rose in all four subject areas, the department reported.

The performance of 11th-graders taking the math test, and passing it on their first try, increased a percentage point this year, from 93 percent in 2008 to 94 percent.

In science, test takers passed at a rate of 88 percent, compared to 86 percent in 2008. Students also improved by 1 percent in English/language arts, passing by 90 percent this year.

Social studies scores increased, as well, with 87 percent of test takers meeting standards this year over 86 percent in 2008.

"The results of the 2009 GHSGT show that our students continue to make steady progress in all areas of the curriculum," said Georgia Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox. "This is especially noteworthy in the areas of science and English/language arts, which are fully aligned to our new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards [GPS]."

This year, students surpassed state standards in English/language arts by 54 percent, with 14 percent scoring at Honors-level proficiency.

In science, 15 percent of first-time test takers scored in the Honors range as an additional 36 percent demonstrated an advanced proficiency in the state's GPS science curriculum.

"These exams are more rigorous and require students to demonstrate a deeper knowledge of the subject, but student achievement continues to rise in these areas," Cox added.

"The credit belongs to the teachers, students and school leaders who are working very hard to fully implement the new [GPS curriculum]."

Henry County Schools, according to spokeswoman Connie Rutherford, plans to release system-level data in the coming days. She said individuals should know their results in the coming weeks.