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Students improve on end of course tests

According to Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Cox, results of the Spring 2005 End of Course Tests show students in Georgia progressed in all eight subject areas from last spring.

"We made some progress on exams, and we should celebrate thatĶ" Ms. Cox said in a letter announcing the test results.

For McDuffie County, students at Thomson High School met expectations in ninth grade Literature, American Literature, Biology, Geometry, Physical Science, and US History. They fell slightly below expectations in Algebra and Economics. Thomson Middle School pupils taking Algebra exceeded expectations.

Dr. Barry O'Neill, McDuffie County assistant superintendent of curriculum, said THS improved on EOCT scores from last year. Dr. O'Neill said all scores improved across the board, but "tech prep and black students improved more."

"(They) are narrowing the gap, which is what it's all about - not leaving anybody behind," he said.

Last year, Georgia began end-of-course assessments in grades nine through twelve for core subjects, in order to improve student achievement.

Dr. O'Neill said the EOCT are part of the state program to phase out the Quality Core Curriculum introduced in 1985, and phase in the Georgia Performance Standards curriculum. The GPS goes into greater depth than QCC, because it isolates and identifies skills needed to use the content knowledge to problem-solve, reason, communicate, and make connections with other information.

"Our goal is to get us ever improving. We're just implementing strategies for GPS. It's a much better curriculum, it's more hands-on, much more real-world," Dr. O'Neill said. "I'm excited about it, it's a higher standard. Georgia has really done a good job of developing these performance-based standards."

Web posted on Thursday, August 4, 2005


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