The percentage of students passing the High School Assessment Program, also known as the high school exit exam, on the first try has increased, according to data released Thursday by the South Carolina Department of Education.
HSAP results are based on students who are in their second year of high school and took the test for the first time in the spring. Students are tested in English/language arts and math and must pass both tests to meet exit exam requirements for a high school diploma.
The percentage of students passing on the first try increased 1.9 percentage points to 82 percent, according to a release from the education department.
“This is the highest passage rate since the HSAP was first administered in 2004,” the release stated.
Gains were also seen locally.
Nearly 86 percent of Aiken County Public Schools students passed both tests on their first attempt. In English/language arts, 92.4 percent of students passed the test, up 3.3 percentage points from 2012. In math, 87.7 percent of students passed the test, up 3.2 percentage points.
Silver Bluff High School had the highest percentage of students passing both tests in Aiken County – 90 percent.
In addition to Silver Bluff, four other district high schools had a higher percentage of students passing both tests than the state: South Aiken, North Augusta, Midland Valley and Aiken.
“The overwhelming positive results on the HSAP are a result of the hard work of our teachers, administrators and our students. Extra assistance for our students and professional development for our teachers have paid off,” Aiken County Public School Superintendent Elizabeth Everitt said in a news release.
At Strom Thurmond High in Edgefield County, 80.4 percent of students passed both sections on the first attempt. In English/language arts, 88.7 percent passed the test, and on the math test, 81.5 percent passed.
At Fox Creek High School, 86.4 percent of its students passed both sections on the first attempt. In English/language arts, 93.2 percent passed, and in math, 86.4 percent passed.
The charter school is part of the South Carolina Public Charter School District. In that district, 74.7 percent of students passed both tests on the first attempt.
Visit ed.sc.gov/data/hsap/hsap.cfm?year=2013 for detailed results by state, district and school levels and demographic information.