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Ga. scraps high school graduation test

Students still required to take h.s. writing test

POSTED: April 15, 2011 9:09 a.m.

A vote Wednesday by the State Board of Education eliminated the Georgia High School Graduation Test as a requirement for those who enter high school in fall 2011.
“Georgia has been trying to eliminate the Georgia High School Graduation Test for over a decade,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “I appreciate the state board’s vote that finally allows us to move away from the GHSGT. I don’t believe the GHSGT is nearly as good an indicator of how much a student has learned as our end-of-course tests. The EOCTs are much more rigorous, and they test a student immediately following a course, rather than waiting until a student’s junior year to determine whether or not he or she has mastered the content of our curriculum.”
The test, which gauged students mastery of English, math, social studies and science, will be thrown by the wayside in favor of a new plan that will dictate that students pass all required courses and take an end-of-course test that will count as 20 percent of the student’s final grade instead of the current 15-percent weight, according to a news release from the SBOE.
“These rule amendments also allow flexibility for students who entered ninth grade between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2011, to meet graduation requirements by either passing the GHSGT or at least one of the two equivalent end-of-course tests in each corresponding content area,” the release states.
There are no changes in the testing requirements for the current school year.
“I think the streamlining of the testing process for high-school students is a good move for both students and staff. EOCTs are more closely aligned to the actual content taught, and the test occurs while students are enrolled in the class rather than being a cumulative test of content over several years of instruction,” Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said.
“This rule will apply to students who enter high school next year, so current students will have to take and pass the GHSGT. That includes this year’s senior who may have failed one or more sections.”
All students still will be required to complete all necessary course requirements as well as take and pass the Georgia High School Writing Test.
Beginning in 2011-12, Adequate Yearly Progress, which refers to the intermediate yearly goals that each state is required to establish, will be calculated by using the end-of-course test scores.

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