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Most students ace end-of-course exams

Middle Schoolers score high on high school-level tests

POSTED: June 4, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Nearly all of area middle school students passed the End-of-Course Tests as part of high school-level classes.

Hall County school officials said Friday that all 250 students in ninth grade literature and 40 students in geometry passed the state tests, while 97 percent of the 410 students in algebra passed the test and 98 percent of the 330 students in physical science passed the test.

"It is just a great tribute to our students and our staff that you can take a group of middle school students, place them in high school courses and ... they can perform anywhere from 20 to 40 percent better than their high school-age peers," said Will Schofield, superintendent of the Hall County system.

"That's what rigor is supposed to look like," he added.

David Shumake, associate superintendent for the Gainesville school system, said that all of its 26 students in geometry passed the state tests while 97 percent of the 145 students in ninth grade English passed the tests. He added that 92 percent exceeded standards in geometry and 31 percent exceeded standards in ninth grade English.

The city system offered environmental science for high school credit, but the class does not have an EOCT, Shumake said.

Dana Tofig, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Education, said middle school students typically fare better on the End-of-Course Tests than average high school students because high-achieving middle schoolers usually are those taking high school courses. High school scores weren't available Friday.

In the 2006-07 school year, 67 percent of all Georgia students who took the EOCT in classes to earn high school credit passed the ninth grade literature and composition assessment; 62 percent, physical science; 64 percent, algebra; and 64 percent, geometry.

State law requires students in ninth through 12th grades to take the final exams in algebra, geometry, social studies, U.S. history, economics and business, science, biology, physical science, English/language arts, ninth grade literature and composition, and American literature and composition. A student's EOCT scores count as 15 percent of the final grade.

Separately, high school students are meeting expectations on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, according to a press release Friday afternoon from the Georgia Department of Education.
The tests cover English/language arts, science, math and social studies.

The percentage of students passing all the tests at area public schools was: Chestatee High, 82 percent; Lanier Career Academy, 46 percent; West Hall High, 87 percent; Flowery Branch High, 86 percent; East Hall High, 88 percent; Johnson High, 88 percent; and Gainesville High, 90 percent.



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