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Students Perform Well on Graduation Tests (Updated 5/23)

Media Contact: - Dana Tofig, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 463-1487,    NOTE: School-level results added on May 23, 2008 (see bottom of release).      An overwhelming majority of Georgia's students are meeting expectations on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT), including two of the exams that are aligned to the state's more rigorous curriculum.    "Overall, these results are good news: most of Georgia's students are showing that they have the basic knowledge they need in order to graduate from high school," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "However, the results of the two new GHSGTs show that we still have work to do in getting students fully prepared to be highly successful in college and the work world."     For the first time this year, the GHSGTs in English Language Arts and Science are fully aligned to the state's new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Besides testing more rigorous material, the new exams call for higher order thinking. These new exams are scored at four levels -- below proficiency, basic proficiency, advanced proficiency and honors.     About 90 percent of first-time test takers scored at basic proficiency or above on the new GHSGT in English Language Arts. Slightly more than 86 percent scored at basic proficiency or above on the new GHSGT in Science.     "These exams are definitely more challenging," Superintendent Cox said, "so, it's clear that our teachers are doing a great job delivering a more focused and engaging curriculum that sets high expectations for all students."      However, Superintendent Cox said the state must also keep an eye on the percentage of students scoring at Advanced Proficiency or above -- an indication of being able to do college level work without remediation. In English Language Arts, 53.4 percent of students scored at Advanced Proficiency and above. On the science exam, slightly more than 50 percent scored at the highest two levels.     "If Georgia is going to be competitive in the 21st century, we must demand more from ourselves and our students," Superintendent Cox said. "Working together at all levels of education, I know we will see more and more students scoring at the highest levels on these tests and being successful in college and the work place."       Mathematics and Social Studies     The results of GHSGTs in Mathematics and Social Studies remained very strong, but were essentially flat when compared to 2007.     In mathematics, 92.5 percent of first-time test takers passed the exam, a slight increase from 2007 (91.7 percent). On the social studies exam, 86.4 percent passed the exam, a slight decrease from 2007 (87.1 percent).      These exams are still aligned to the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) and are scored the same as in the past with three performance levels -- did not pass, pass and pass plus.    The Social Studies GHSGT will be GPS-based starting in 2010 and the Mathematics GHSGT will be GPS-based starting in 2011.   More Information -  School-Level Results  (Microsoft Excel required)  -    System-Level Results       -    Charts and Other Information