While high school juniors across Georgia performed below state expectations on this year’s Georgia High School Graduation Test, students in Houston and Monroe counties did better than the state pass rates, according to state figures released Wednesday.
Ninety percent of students statewide passed the English section, 91 percent passed the math section and 90 percent passed the science section. The test results are those of first-time test takers in the 11th grade and factor in both regular program students as well as those with special needs.
Officials from the state Department of Education aimed to achieve passing rates of 93 percent in English, 96 percent in math and 92 percent in the science section, according to a state document.
This year, the social studies section was revamped to reflect Georgia Performance Standards. While state officials aimed to have an 89 percent pass rate on the section, only 78 percent of students in the state passed.
More high school juniors in Houston County passed all subjects when compared to the state.
Among the county’s test takers, 92 percent passed the English section, 94 percent passed math, 83 percent passed social studies and 93 percent passed the science portion of the test, according to a school system news release.
“We’re proud of that. The teachers do an outstanding job. The kids do an outstanding job. The parents can take credit for that as well. ... Everyone can share in the accomplishments of the high school kids,” said David Carpenter, Houston County superintendent.
Notably, all test-taking students at the Houston County Career and Technology Center passed the math and English sections of the test. There were 20 juniors at the school, said Beth McLaughlin, Houston County director of community and school affairs.
This year’s systemwide pass rates in English and math were both three percentage points lower than last year’s rates. Houston County’s science pass rate remained the same both years, at 93 percent. The social studies pass rate dropped from 93 percent in 2009 to 83 percent, though the difference may be attributed to the changes in the social studies section this year.
Students at Mary Persons High School in Monroe County also performed better than the state average in all subjects.
In Monroe County, 94 percent of test-takers passed both the math and English portions of the test, said Superintendent Anthony Pack. On the science section, 92 percent passed, and 82 percent passed the social studies section.
“Our teachers are focused on curriculum and students,” Pack said. “We’re going to continue to stay focused on curriculum and students.”
Bibb County’s high school graduation test scores will be presented today during the board of education’s committee meeting, said Chris Floore, spokesman for the Bibb County Board of Education.
Test results for Jones and Peach counties were not available.
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.