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Fayette students score near perfect mark on state writing test

Fayette County registered a near-perfect score on the 2012 Georgia High School Writing Test. Ninety-three percent of students statewide met or exceeded the test standards while in Fayette that score was 98 percent.

School system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said Fayette’s overall passing score for the 2012 Georgia High School Writing Test increased 1 percent from last year.

”Ninety-eight percent of test takers met or exceeded standards, up from 97 percent in 2011,” Berry-Dreisbach said.

Berry-Dreisbach said minority and special education students also improved their passing percentages and maintained scores higher than the state average.

“Ninety-seven percent of black students met or exceeded the standard for the test, a 2-percentage point increase from 95 in 2011. Hispanic students saw a 2-point drop with 95 percent meeting or exceeding standards compared to 97 percent in 2011. Both subgroups outpaced the state’s average of 90 percent passing for black students and 91 percent passing for Hispanic students,” she said.

Special education students in Fayette County had the largest passing percentage increase of all the subgroups, up 12 percentage points from last year.

Eighty-six percent of special education grade 11 first-time test-takers met or exceeded the standards, up last year from 74 percent. Again, the special education subgroup scored well above that of the state, which posted a 72 percent pass rate, according to Berry-Dreisbach.

Statewide, 93 percent of high school students met or exceeded the standards. That number is up from 91 percent last year and 88 percent in 2007 when the current, more rigorous assessment was first introduced, according to Ga. Dept. of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza.

“What’s more, minority and special education students are improving their performance on the test at a higher rate than white students, narrowing the achievement gap,” Cardoza said.

Students must pass the Georgia High School Writing Test to receive a high school diploma, and can take it multiple times in their junior and senior years. Students can score up to 350 points, with 200 points required to pass the test.

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