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Local students do well on tests

End-of-course test scores here rank with state

POSTED: August 14, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Statewide end-of-course test scores for spring 2012 indicate that Georgia high school students exceeded standards at a greater rate than in spring 2011, and local schools are part of that trend.
The results, released July 31 by the Georgia Department of Education, show Liberty County High School was at or above the statewide percentage of students who meet or exceed the standards in six of eight tests offered. Bradwell Institute fared as well or better than state numbers in five subject areas.
LCHS Principal Paula Scott and Bradwell Principal Scott Carrier both said they are pleased with the performance and credit collaboration between and within the schools for the gains.
Both schools met or beat the state in United States history, economics, math two and biology.
LCHS also was on par or ahead of the state in ninth-grade literature and math one, while Bradwell was on par for American literature.
And that’s good news since preparation for the EOCT takes a more significant role for students and the schools this year.
In addition to counting toward a student’s final course grade, the tests now are a factor in students’ graduation status due to an April 2011 Georgia Board of Education plan to phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Test.
For students who entered ninth grade for the first time during or after the 2011-12 school year, EOCT scores will count 20 percent toward a final course grade instead of 15 percent.
The EOCT tests will be used as a factor of high school success for accountability purposes on the new College and Career Ready Performance Index.
“End-of-Course Tests are more rigorous than the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, so increases are further testament to the great job our teachers are doing delivering the Georgia Performance Standards to students in a way that they are grasping,” state school Superintendent Dr. John
Barge said in a news release.
Student performance measures are placed into three levels: does not meet standard, meets standard and exceeds standard.
Even with the results, both schools admit there is work to be done in areas like physical science, where both fell below state performance.  
“We made gains from the previous year in all EOCT classes offered and at a greater level than the state,” Carrier said. “That being said, we are now using the data and information received on last year’s test to ensure that even further gains are made this year. We are confident that our scores will continue to rise as we analyze data and use that information to adjust our instruction in a manner that will help our students be more successful.”
At Bradwell, all departments meet weekly in professional learning communities to discuss data and how to implement changes that will assist students into the curriculum.  
LCHS administers common assessments in all core academic classes, which contributes to the performance.  And both principals said the schools will continue collaborating to share best practices.  
“Of course, we would like to have 100 percent of our students scoring at the exceeds level on all tests given, so that is our goal and that is what we will work toward this year,” Scott said.   

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