High school students across Georgia showed gains in seven out of eight subject areas on the 2012 End of Course Tests, exams that count for up to 20 percent of a student’s final course grade and measure effectiveness of instruction.
The passing rate dropped one percentage point from last year to 54 percent in Mathematics II, a course blending algebra, geometry and statistics, according to results released by the state Tuesday.
Students showed improvement by four percentage points in Math I, but the amount of students meeting or exceeding standards is still only at 65 percent.
This year the tests began to take on more significance as the State Board of Education voted to phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, which previously were required to earn a diploma and were used to measure a school’s Adequate Yearly Progress.
Beginning in 2012-13, the EOCT will be used to measure school accountability under the new College and Career Ready Performance Index as the state moves away from No Child Left Behind requirements.
“It is encouraging to me to see student performance increase in the large majority of the End of Course Tests,” state Superintendent John Barge said in a news release. “End of Course Tests are more rigorous than the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, so increases are further testament to the great job our teachers are doing delivering the Georgia Performance Standards to students in a way that they are grasping.”
The state is expected to release district-level and school-level results later this summer.
Unofficial Richmond County results presented to the Board of Education on June 12 showed several areas with extremely low passing rates. School officials said they hoped the pass rates will increase once retests and makeups are factored in and released in late July.
Statewide, the largest improvement came in economics, where 77 percent met or exceeded standards, an increase of five percentage points from last year.
Passing rates increased by two percentage points in U.S. History to 68 percent; three points in Biology to 73 percent; one point in Physical Science to 77 percent; two points in Ninth-grade Literature and Composition to 84 percent; and one point in American Literature and Composition to 89 percent.