Published Saturday, December 08, 2012
By REBECCA LEFTWICH
Coweta County students’ scores on the Georgia High School Writing Test improved to 95 percent meeting or exceeding standards, mirroring a statewide improvement on fall 2012 assessments.
Among 11th graders taking the test for the first time, Coweta’s scores edged up a percentage point from 2011.
“As a district, we improved from 94 percent passing to 95 percent passing, which is the direction we want to be headed,” Superintendent of Coweta County Schools Steve Barker said. “All three of our schools showed improvement, and that’s what we want our schools to be doing.”
Across the state, 95 percent of high school students met or exceeded GHSWT standards, up from 91 percent in 2011. State results also indicate a narrowing of the achievement gap for minority and special education students improving at a higher rate than white students.
Students must pass the GHSWT to receive a high school diploma, and they are allowed multiple attempts in their junior and seniors years. Maximum score is 350 points with 200 required to pass the test.
Northgate High School led the way in 2012 with a pass rate of 96 percent, maintaining its 2011 percentage. At Newnan High School, 94.5 percent of students passed – up from 94 percent last year – while 94 percent of East Coweta High School students met or exceeded standards to stay steady at 2011 numbers.
“We just got our scores, and the high schools will be taking the data and crunching numbers to make sure the trends continue and see what they can do to improve even further,” Barker said.
GHSWT was introduced in 2007 as a Georgia Performance Standards-based test in 2007, when the number of all Georgia students meeting or exceeding standards was 88 percent.
We’re always glad to see movement in the direction of improvement,” Barker said. “We’re seeing writing across the state improve, and what I believe we will see as a result of that focus on writing is an improvement on SAT scores as well. The numbers are promising.”
For more on the GHSWT, visit http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Assessment/Pages/Georgia-High-School-Writing-Test.aspx .