Students in Richmond and Columbia counties made gains in several end of course test categories this year, but Richmond County students still lag behind in math and sciences, according to results released by the Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday.
Roughly 93,000 students took the EOCT this year, and the test counts for either 15 or 20 percent of their final grades, depending on when the student enrolled in 9th grade.
Students in both school systems improved their scores in the American Literature testing category. Columbia County students’ percent passing rate rose slightly to 97.3 percent. The percentage of Richmond County students increased by almost four points to 87 percent. The state average for American literature was 93 percent.
Both counties were under the state average in ninth grade literature testing. In Richmond County, almost 81 percent of the students passed compared to 85.2 percent in Columbia County. The state’s passing rate average was 88 percent.
Richmond County schools fall far behind Columbia County in math related subjects. Only 23.3 percent of Richmond County students passed coordinate algebra, a drop of roughly seven percentage points from last year. About 63 percent of Columbia County students passed; the state average is 40 percent.
Richmond County students had a similarly hard time with analytical geometry, introduced to the EOCT this winter. Only 34.4 percent passed, compared to 63.4 percent of Columbia County students. The state average was 35 percent.
In biology, only about 55 percent of Richmond County students passed, compared to nearly 92 percent in Columbia County. The state average passing rate was 75 percent.
Neither Richmond County Superintendent Frank Roberson nor Columbia County Superintendent Sandra Carraway returned calls for comment.
This will be the last year Georgia students will undergo EOCT testing. The exam is being replaced by the Georgia Milestones testing system next year, which will be taken by grades 3-12.