While several Middle Georgia school systems have passed the Georgia High School Graduation Test at a higher rate than across the state overall, others are working to improve their test scores.
Test scores in Bibb County saw a slight decline in English, math and science, consistent with state trends, said Bruce Giroux, Bibb County school system’s director of assessment and accountability.
Some schools, however, such as Rutland, Southwest and Westside high schools, as well as Hutchings Career Center, showed gains in science.
“Overall, we still want to improve the scores,” he said. “They are not exactly where we want them to be. We will be analyzing the data to help plan further intervention.”
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Exact graduation test results for Bibb County were not available.
Statewide, 90 percent of students 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.
This year, the social studies section was revamped to reflect Georgia Performance Standards. Across Georgia, 78 percent of students in the state passed the social studies section of the test.
Students in Peach County passed the test at a lower rate than the state average but performed better this year within the system compared with the same time last year, said Jeff Fitz, the system’s assessment and testing coordinator.
In the system, 86 percent of test-takers passed English, 87 percent of students passed math, 89 percent passed science and 74 percent passed social studies.
Fitz also noted the science pass rate in Peach County was only one percentage point behind state results, moving closer toward closing the achievement gap between the system and the state.
While the performance among students in the system is improving, more work needs to be done, Fitz said.
“The school reports are ahead of this time last year, but we’re not where we need to be in English language arts and math for AYP,” Fitz said of adequate yearly progress, an accountability measure under No Child Left Behind.
This year, Peach school officials have provided more individualized remediation to help students in academic areas where they’ve been struggling. The changes have resulted in better test scores in several areas, from the writing portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Test to standardized testing among elementary school students, Fitz said.
“Providing that targeted assistance to kids where they need help in certain standards seems to be paying off,” he said.
The implementation of the four-day school week is not adversely affecting students’ performance, Fitz said.
“We’re holding our own or making gains,” he said. “(We’re doing) more effective work with teachers and students.”
Jones County is among Middle Georgia systems that outperformed their peers across the state.
On the English section, 92 percent of test-takers passed, 97 percent passed math, 94 percent passed science and 83 percent passed social studies, said Kelly Roberts, Jones County system testing coordinator.
“We’re just extremely pleased with the high school for their hard work,” she said. “We’re hoping because of this to make AYP this year.”
Jones County also saw an increase of seven percentage points on its math and science sections from last year’s scores, and Roberts said she is especially proud of the system’s math scores.
“There’s a definite focus on instruction and intervention with the students,” Roberts said.
Students in Houston and Monroe counties also performed better than the state average in all subjects.
Among Houston 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 news release.
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.
Telegraph staff writer Julie Hubbard contributed to this report. To contact Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.