Language art scores down, science up
By Jana A. Mitcham
Local high school graduation test scores from 2008 have been released, with results showing that Jackson County, Jefferson and Commerce school systems are above the state average in percentage of students passing.
For the first time this year, the English/language arts and science tests were fully aligned to the state’s new curriculum, according to the Georgia Department of Education. The new exams “call for higher order thinking” and test “more rigorous material.” Area schools saw a drop in English/language arts scores this year, but saw improvements in science.
The four content areas of the graduation test English/ language arts, math, social studies and science are given for the first time to juniors in the spring (see chart for all scores for area schools). Students may return and take the test again until they can qualify for a high school diploma.
Jackson County first-time test takers in their junior year exceeded the state average in all areas but English/language arts. With 88 percent of the students passing, the local score was two points behind the state’s 90 percent. The Jackson County score for English/language arts was 93.1 in 2007.
In all other areas, Jackson County students showed an improvement, particularly in science, an area of concern statewide in 2007. In 2007, Jackson County had 72.4 percent of the test-takers passing in science; the 2008 score showed 87 percent passing, above the state’s 86 percent.
The 2008 scores for Jefferson High School first-time test takers also dropped in English/language arts, although with 92 percent passing, the JHS score is still above the state’s 90 percent. In 2007, 97.7 percent passed English/language arts.
JHS also saw improvement in the area of science, with 89 percent passing, up from 83.3 percent last year.
Commerce High School saw a slight drop in English/language arts scores this year, but also saw a big leap in science scores.
CHS shows 96 percent passing in English/language arts, down from the 2007 score of 98.7.
In science, CHS had 93 percent passing, up from last year’s 75.6.