Coweta improves high school EOCT scores

Coweta County High School students improved their performance on End-of-Course Tests (EOCT) administered in the 2012-13 school year and Coweta County outperformed state passage rates on the exams during the school year.

That was the word Wednesday from school system spokesman Dean Jackson.

“On all exams the passage rates of Coweta County high school students was higher than their state counterparts during the 2012-2013 school year,” Jackson said.

Jackson said Georgia students take End-of-Course Tests at the end of designated core high school courses taken some time during their high school career. Students in Coweta County take the exams at the end of either the winter or spring semesters, depending on when they complete their course on Coweta’s block scheduling system, said Jackson.

End-of-Course Tests are offered in American literature and composition, Mathematics I: algebra/geometry/statistics, Mathematics II: geometry/algebra II/statistics, coordinate algebra, biology, physical science, U.S. history, economics and ninth grade literature and composition. Student performance is categorized into three levels: does not meet standard, meets standard and exceeds standard, said Jackson.

Data released by the state on July 10 showed Coweta students improving their EOCT scores over the previous year in every test category except for U.S. history and outscoring the state average in every category. In 2011-2012, 74.8 percent of Coweta students passed the U.S. history test while 74.6 percent passed it in 2012-2013.

A sampling of the scores showed 89.2 percent of Coweta students meeting and achieving the standards on the ninth grade literature and composition test compared to 85.4 percent of students statewide. Similarly, Coweta bested the state average 93.2 percent to 90.4 percent in American literature and composition, 82.3 percent to 77.8 percent in economics and 83.7 percent to 81.2 percent in physical science.

Jackson said the state exams are designed to assess student achievement of the state standards and to provide data to assist in the improvement of instruction and learning. The tests are similar to a final exam, and comprise 15 or 20 percent of students’ grades in those courses.

Georgia is phasing out Mathematics I and Mathematics II courses, in favor of discrete mathematics courses. This was the first year for the state’s new coordinate algebra course and its corresponding EOCT, Jackson said.

Passage rates for the new coordinate algebra EOCT were low statewide and all students who took the coordinate algebra course and exam are being given a chance to retake the exam in the coming months. The pass rate for Coweta students was 43.1 percent on the coordinate algebra EOCT compared to 37.4 percent for the state average, said Jackson.

Coweta County Math Specialist Lynn Skinner said that the school system is reviewing test data from this year’s coordinate algebra EOCT and revised high school curriculum documents in order to make adjustments to improve student performance.

Skinner said that benchmark tests have been developed to better reflect the rigor and focus of the new state mathematics courses that are being implemented, and a number of instructional strategies are being implemented as well. 

Jackson said additional math resources have also been purchased by the school system and professional development will be provided to teachers on the use of those resources to maximize student learning. Workshops provided by the district during the 2013-2014 school year will focus on strategies for accelerating student learning.
 

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