Fayette students top Ga. tests again
9th- and 10th-graders improve on end-of-course tests
Fayette County’s ninth- and tenth-graders in 2013 scored near the top of Georgia’s more than 180 school districts on the state-mandated End of Course Test (EOCT), school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said.
Berry-Dreisbach said the scores tallied by Forsyth and Fayette counties led the large school system performers in the 2013 EOCT. Other school systems performing at a high level included those from a dozen or more small school systems across the state.
The Ga. High School Graduation Test is being phased out and replaced by the state-required End of Course Test (EOCT) as a way to gauge student academic achievement. EOCT scores in 2013 showed Fayette students near the top of Georgia’s more than 180 school districts.
The EOCT was first used for ninth grade students in the 2011-2012 school year.
Berry-Dreisbach said student performance was up on nearly every 2013 EOCT with the majority of students meeting or exceeding standards based on data released by the Ga. Department of Education.
The greatest gains were in U.S. history where the mean score of 453 points jumped 11 points from last year’s score of 442, and in biology where the mean score of 451 points is up six points from last year’s score of 445, said Berry-Dreisbach.
In coordinate algebra, which was offered for the first time last fall, the county’s mean score was 411 with 63 percent of students meeting or exceeding the standard. This was the first administration of the test since the subject was implemented, Berry-Dreisbach said.
Berry-Dreisbach said Fayette’s scores outperformed the state average in all subject areas by 13-24 points. The largest gap was in Mathematics II at 24 points where Fayette’s mean score was 431 compared to the state’s 407, and in ninth grade literature and composition at 21 points where Fayette’s score was 458 compared to the state’s 437. The county also outperformed the state by 20 points in coordinate algebra, biology and U.S. history.
Berry-Dreisbach said Fayette did see a 2-point decrease in pass rates in economics and Mathematics II.
In April 2011, the Georgia Board of Education approved a plan to phase out Georgia High School Graduation Tests, beginning with students who entered ninth grade for the first time in the 2011-12 school year. For these students, the EOCT counts as 20 percent of the student’s final grade, an increase from the previous 15 percent level.
Grades 3-8 among handful of top-scoring Ga. systems
When it comes to the Fayette County’s scores on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) given in grades 3-8, the school system in 2013 was among a handful of top-scoring systems in Georgia.
“Compared to other system scores released by the Georgia Dept. of Education, the county’s elementary and middle school students posted high pass rate percentages for meeting or exceeding standards in all subject areas tested in grades 3-8. Only Forsyth County and a few smaller systems posted higher pass rate percentages in some content areas,” said school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.
State law requires that students in grades 3, 5 and 8 meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in reading in order to be promoted. Fifth and 8th grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in mathematics, Berry-Dreisbach explained.
In critical grades 3, 5 and 8 where scores in reading and/or mathematics are used for promotion to the next grade level, Berry-Dreisbach said 3rd grade students had a .4 percent increase in social studies compared to 2012, 5th grade students posted a 1.5 percent increase in mathematics and a .4 percent increase in social studies compared to 2012. Eighth grade mathematics increased 1.8 percent compared to 2012.
Noting some of the other specifics with the CRCT scores, Berry-Dreisbach said 4th grade students showed the largest improvement, posting higher meeting or exceeding percentages compared to 2012. Reading increased by 1.1 percent, math by 3.6 percent, science by 1.9 percent and social studies by 2.5 percent, Berry-Dreisbach said.
Sixth grade scores increased in three of the five content areas compared to 2012. Mathematics increased 1.8 percent, science 1.9 percent and social studies 1.5 percent.
Seventh grade scores also increased in three of the five subject areas compared to 2012. Reading increased .3 percent, science .4 percent and social studies 4.2 percent, said Berry-Dreisbach.
As has been the case in previous years, the school systems in Fayette and Forsyth counties rank higher than other large school systems across the state. The remainder of the highest-scoring school systems are those with less than 1,000 students taking the tests and most often include systems with 50-200 students being tested. A sampling of those systems include Glascock County, Trion City, Chattahoochee County and Lowndes County.