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Posted: July 13, 2013 5:53 p.m.

NCSS student EOCT math results clarified

In the story "Local EOCT scores improve; math tough" in the Friday, July 12 edition, results for the math portions of the End-of-Course-Tests released by the Newton County School System read as though they were "averages" of students who passed.

However, Allison Jordan, NCSS Director of Testing, Research and Evaluation, said the numbers presented in the article represent the "percentage of students who met or exceeded the standards" on the math portions of the EOCT.

The math results in the story should have read as follows:

"In Coordinate Algebra, Alcovy High School students had 19 percent of students who passed (with 496 students tested); Eastside had 29 percent of students who passed (with 314 students tested); and Newton had 14 percent of students who passed (with 527 students tested) compared with the state average of 37.

In Math I, Alcovy had 13 percent of students who passed (with 71 students tested); Eastside had 29 percent of students who passed (with 42 students tested); and Newton had 14 percent of students who passed (with 63 students tested) compared with the state at 29 percent.

According to the release, a small number of students participated in Math I because the test was offered only to satisfy graduation requirements for those students.

In Math II, Alcovy had 55 percent of students who passed (with 469 students tested); Eastside had 76 percent of students who passed (with 302 students tested); and Newton had 53 percent of students who passed (with 479 students tested) compared with the state Math II at 59 percent."

The Georgia Department of Education released EOCT results on Wednesday, and preliminary test data provided by the state show that NCSS high school students surpassed state averages in three areas of 2012-13 school year EOCTs, matched state scores in two areas, and posted a two-point decline in one area.

According to NCSS officials, 2013 marked the first year for the Coordinate Algebra test, replacing the Math I portion of the tests.

As expected, scores across the state were low. All three Newton high schools scored below the state score on the test.

Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey said the school system has provided summer remediation for students who did not pass the Coordinate Algebra EOCT; and said students retested in mid-June. Fuhrey said as soon re-test results are finalized, the school system will update the results.

"The EOCT was more rigorous than previous math assessments and the ‘cut score’ to determine who passed the assessment has been increased as well," Fuhrey said.

"We intend to work closely with our math team in an effort to ensure that we are preparing students to have a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts as the "new" assessment requires more than the traditional response; it is no longer enough for students to simply substitute numbers in formulas to determine an answer to a question. "Over time," Fuhrey said, "our students will become accustomed to the increase in expectations and rigor, and their performance will improve as well."

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