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NCSS writing tests scores see increase
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The rate of Newton County School System high school students who passed the Georgia High School Writing Test this year increased across the board from 2013.

Overall, the NCSS passing rate improved 96 percent, or three percentage points higher than a year ago. This rise matched the state’s passing rate for 2014 after the school system was one percentage point behind the state a year ago.

All three NCSS high schools saw progress in their passing rate as well. Newton County High School saw the biggest jump out the three with a three percent increase in 2014 that raised its passing rate to 96 percent.

Alcovy and Eastside High Schools had a two percent bump from a year ago that elevated the schools passing rates to 96 and 97 percent, respectively.

NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey praised the students for not only matching the marks set last year, but for also setting a new precedent this year.

“When your scores are in the 90 percent range already, it is challenging to increase performance results, but all three schools exceeded expectations, and I am very proud of this accomplishment,” said Fuhrey in a press release. “Our goal, on any test, is to have 100 percent pass and our students are very close to meeting that goal on this test.”

Furhey gave the credit for helping students reach new heights on these types of tests to a variety of factors.

“I credit our schools’ performance to a combination of increased parental support, strong school leadership, our teachers increasing rigor in their classrooms and our students continuing to strive to succeed,” she said. “This is yet another example of our schools moving in the right direction. Throughout last year, and now in this school year, we are seeing an increase in pass rates on state and national tests. Our goal is to continue this trend as we strive to be the best while focusing with a keen eye on areas of opportunity.”

The Georgia High School Writing Test is a state mandated test that Georgia high school students must pass in order to receive a Georgia diploma. The test is first administered to students in their junior year of high school.

The writing test requires students to produce a composition of no more than two pages on an assigned topic. Students are allowed 100 minutes to write their essay. The test is administered three times a year so that students have multiple opportunities to take the test before the end of their twelve grade year.

However, this year marked the last full administration of the Georgia High School Writing Test. In the future, students’ writing will be assessed through the Georgia Milestones Assessment System, which is a comprehensive cumulative assessment program for grades three through high school.