The Georgia graduation test will be a thing of the past beginning next year after state school superintendent John Barge announced a plan to phase out the tests.
"Georgia has been trying to eliminate the Georgia High School Graduation Test for over a decade," said Barge. "...I don't believe the GHSGT is nearly as good an indicator of how much a student has learned as our End-of-Course Tests. The EOCTs are much more rigorous, and they test a student immediately following a course, rather than waiting until a student's junior year to determine whether or not he or she has mastered the content of our curriculum."
According to a press release from the Georgia Department of Education, the new plan will require students to pass all required courses and the end-of-course tests which will now count for 20 percent of the student's grades. Students who have been enrolled in high school prior to the 2011-12 school year will need to either take and pass the graduation test (which is provided specifically for these students) or take and pass at least one of the two equivalent end of course tests in each corresponding content area.
"It's my sense that End-of-Course-Tests (EOCTs) in Georgia are actually a good gauge of whether a high school student knows the material in a particular subject area," said Newton County School Superintendent Gary Mathews. "However, I still believe states have to get beyond just a multiple choice format to determine whether a student is truly educated in a subject. Arguably, these EOCTs are more appropriate than the Georgia High School Graduation Test which is more general in nature."
Students must continue to complete all course requirements and must take, and pass, the Georgia High School Writing Test.