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Graduation test scores up
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Results of the 2011 Georgia High School Graduation Tests show student scores increased in all content areas where there is historical data — science, social studies and English language arts.
Because this is the first year the more rigorous Georgia Performance Standards-based mathematics GHSGT was given, there is no historical data to compare from year to year in that content area.
“The results of the 2011 GHSGT are very encouraging,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “These scores give us a good indicator that students and teachers continue to rise to the challenge of a more rigorous curriculum.”
 The percentage of students passing the English language arts GHSGT (91 percent) increased one percentage point from 2010. In science, 93 percent of students passed the test, an increase of three percentage points from last year. Finally, in social studies, 80 percent of students passed the GHSGT, a two-percentage point increase over last year’s results.
For the first time this year, the GHSGT in mathematics is GPS-based. On the mathematics exam, 84 percent of students passed — an expected decrease from last year’s Quality Core Curriculum-based exam (91 percent).
In March, the state board of education approved Barge’s recommendation to allow school districts to teach math with an integrated or discrete delivery method.
“We know many students have struggled with the integrated approach to mathematics,” Barge said. “A one-size-fits-all approach is not in the best interest of all of our students, but high expectations and our rigorous curriculum are right for all of them. We expected a decline in results for the math portion of the GHSGT, but based on feedback from school districts, we anticipated a more dramatic decline.”

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