Newton County School System (NCSS) students matched or outperformed their statewide peers on the 2009 Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT). As a result, the district’s pass percentage rate increased in every category of the test in 2009, with the greatest gains in science and social studies, where the district pass percentage rates increased by three points, going from 86 percent in 2008 to 89 percent for both subjects in 2009. The district’s pass rate for English language arts increased by one percentage point, going from 91 percent in 2008to 92 percent in 2009 – two points higher than the state’s 90 percent pass rate. Newton County School System students posted a 2 percent gain on the math test, going from 92 percent in 2008 to 94 percent in 2009. The NCSS pass rate matched the state’s 94 percent pass rate in math this year.
Individual school reports show that all three high schools – Alcovy, Eastside and Newton, outperformed the state’s pass rate in English language arts and social studies. Alcovy and Eastside surpassed and Newton matched the state’s 94 percent pass rate in math and Eastside and Newton outperformed the state in science, with Alcovy just two points below the state’s 88 percent pass rate.
“The hard work and dedication of our teachers and students shows in these tests,” said Dr. Kathy Reese, NCSS Director of High School Curriculum. “The increase for the district in every category of the test is a testimony to our focus on continuously improving student achievement.”
AHS saw an increase in pass rates in three testing categories – English language arts (+1); math (+3); and social studies (+2). Overall, 92 percent passed the English language arts test, 95 percent passed the math and 89 percent passed the social studies test. Alcovy maintained its 86 percent pass rate in science.
“We are proud of the gains that our students have made, but we are committed to continue working hard to do even better next year,” said Dave Easterday, principal of AHS. “I would like to thank our teachers for their dedication and hard work because without them these gains would not be possible.”
EHS posted an increase on the social studies test (+1) and maintained the same high pass rates in math (95 percent) and science (93 percent) in 2009. Although the school saw a slight, three-point decrease on the pass rate for English language arts in 2009, Eastside’s 91 percent pass rate was still higher than the state average. As in 2008, EHS had over 90 percent of its first time test takers pass each portion of the GHSGT in 2009.
“The EHS family is proud of all of those involved in testing. This includes parents, teachers and of course, the students,” said Dr. Robert Daria, principal of EHS. “It is a true pleasure to see collective efforts yield collectively positive results.”
NHS posted the largest gains in 2009, with increased pass rates in all four testing categories, including an 11-point surge on the science test, where 90 percent of the students passed in 2009 compared to only 79 percent in 2008. Newton posted a six-point increase in social studies, a five-point increase in math and a four-point increase in English language arts in 2009. This year, 92 percent of NHS students passed the English language arts test, 94 percent passed the math and 89 percent passed the social studies.
“Newton High School is extremely proud of the gains achieved in each area of the Georgia High School Graduation Test,” said Dr. Roderick Sams, principal of NHS. “The improvement in the pass rate of each subject area is the result of several collaborative efforts on behalf of many here at Newton High. Making sure that every child has every chance for success is not just a slogan or a motto, but a belief that every student has the opportunity to achieve at the highest level. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty, staff, students and parents of Newton High School for this well-deserved level of achievement.”
All students seeking a Georgia high school diploma must pass the GHSGT in four content areas as well as the Georgia High School Writing Assessment. These assessments ensure that students qualifying for a diploma have mastered essential core academic content and skills.
Students who do not pass on the first attempt of the tests have multiple opportunities to receive additional instruction, retest and qualify for graduation before the spring of the twelfth grade.