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High School Writing Scores Rise (Updated 12/2/08)

 MEDIA CONTACT:  Dana Tofig, (404) 463-1487,     Updated on 12/2/08 to include System and School scores      November 25, 2008 -- Georgia's High School students showed steady improvement on the state's writing test this fall.     Eighty-nine percent of students met or exceeded standards on the Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) -- up one percentage point from fall, 2007. Many of Georgia's student subgroups showed dramatic gains, including English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.     "Our high schools are doing an excellent job teaching our students the importance of writing and the results are showing on the GHSWT," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "Using our new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards, Georgia is growing a strong generation of writers and communicators."     More than 106,000 students took the GHSWT this fall, of which 96,444 were first-time test takers in grade 11. The pass rate for first-time test takers was 91 percent.     The pass rate for English Language Learners was 65 percent, a jump of 12 percentage points from last year. The pass rate for Students with Disabilities was 60 percent, an increase of five percentage points. The scores of African-American (85 percent) and Hispanic (82 percent) students each rose two percentage points, while the pass rate of white students held steady at 93 percent.     "We are seeing high achievement and improvement across the board on the writing test," Superintendent Cox said.      ABOUT THE GHSWT      The Georgia High School Writing Test is given to students in grade 11 and must be passed in order to graduate from high school. Students who do not pass the GHSWT the first time can retake the test. The GHSWT has been aligned to the state's new curriculum -- the Georgia Performance Standards -- for two years. The test is scored on a scale from 100 to 350, using the following scoring levels:     100-199 - Does not meet standards     200-249 - Meets standards     250-350 - Exceeds standards The average scale score for the 2008 GHSWT was 219, up two points from last year.   SCHOOL AND SYSTEM LEVEL SCORES (Microsoft Excel required)   System-level scores      School-level scores     MORE INFORMATION  -  GHSWT Testing Brief  -  About Georgia's writing tests