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Students maintain scores on grad test

Thomson High School students maintained a high achievement level on the Spring 2007 Georgia High School Graduation Test, according to the results released last week from school officials.

"We are proud of the gains the students made," said Lynn Cato, the assistant principal for curriculum and instruction. "Particularly in the area of math, where the percentage of African-American students who met the standards for adequate yearly progress increased By six percentile points."

In English/language arts, 98 percent of the THS students passed the test, up one point from percent last year. Thomson's passing percentage in English/language arts is equal to the state average.

In math, 97 percent passed the test, which is a two point increase over last year and this year's state average.

Science scores decreased from 80 percent last year to 74 percent this year, although the score is still higher than the 2005 score of 70 percent. The state average in science is 78 percent.

The Social Studies score did not change over last year, with 89 percent passing and remaining slightly lower than the state average of 91 percent.

The results measure the scores of high school juniors who took the test for the first time. Of the 276 juniors who took the tests in March, 218 of them passed four out of the five content areas of the tests and enjoyed a celebratory cook-out and awards ceremony before the school year ended. Students were given T-shirts, gift certificates and coupons to local businesses.

Forty students scored in the "pass plus range," which is the highest range; and, one student achieved a perfect score of 600.

As of May, 177 members of the Class of 2008 have now passed all five parts of the GHSGT/GHSWT and are set to march and receive their regular diploma, according to Ms. Cato.

"Our faculty has worked incredibly hard to motivate the students, to inform parents, and to pinpoint students' areas of strength and weakness," she said. "We continue to use the data from diagnostic tests to place students who need additional help in acceleration and test prep courses to promote their success on the GHSGT. We are keeping students in school longer and graduating more on time."

Ms. Cato said students are given five opportunities to pass the tests between their first attempt as juniors and their scheduled graduation date. Anyone who has not passed the test By the scheduled graduation date can continue to retake the tests until they pass. This includes students from as far back as 1991, when the GHSGT was implemented. Students who did not pass the test, or wish to prepare for the next administration, may attend summer review sessions at THS in early July. For more information, call the high school at 706-986-4200 during normal business hours.

Web posted on Thursday, June 21, 2007

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