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Students get high marks on test

COVINGTON - Newton County 11th-graders taking the Georgia High School Graduation Test for the first time in 2009 scored at or above the state level, according to results released Thursday by the Newton County School System. In addition, more Newton students passed the test this year than last.

The results showed that 92 percent of Newton County students taking the test passed the English/language arts portion of the test, 94 percent passed the math section, 89 percent passed science and 89 percent passed social studies.

Statewide, 90 percent of students passed the English/language arts portion of the test, 94 percent passed the math section, 88 percent passed science and 87 percent passed social studies.

"The hard work and dedication of our teachers and students show in these test results," NCSS director of high school curriculum Kathy Reese said in a press release.

In addition to scoring above state standards, this year's passing rates are better than last year's. One percent more NCSS students passed English/language arts than last year, 2 percent more passed math, 3 percent more passed science and 3 percent more passed social studies.

"The increase for the district in every category of the test is a testimony to our focus on continuously improving student achievement," Reese said.

Individually, Alcovy High School had 92 percent of its students pass English/language arts, 95 percent pass math, 86 percent pass science and 89 percent pass social studies. Its pass rate also increased 1 percentage point in English/language arts, 3 percentage points in math and two percentage points in social studies from last year; science remained the same pass rate as last year.

"We are proud of the gains that our students have made, but we are committed to continue working hard to do even better next year," Alcovy High School principal Dave Easterday said in a press release. "I would like to thank our teachers for their dedication and hard work because without them these gains would not be possible."

Eastside High School had 91 percent of its students pass English/language arts, 95 percent pass math, 93 percent pass science and 91 percent pass social studies. Its pass rate also increased 1 percentage point in social studies compared to last year's results; its math and science results were the same from last year, but its English/Language Arts results dropped 3 percentage points.

"The EHS family is proud of all of those involved in testing. This includes parents, teachers and of course the students," Eastside High School principal Robert Daria said in a press release. "It is a true pleasure to see collective efforts yield collectively positive results."

Newton High School had 92 percent of students pass English/language arts, 94 percent pass math, 90 percent pass science and 89 percent pass social studies. Its pass rate saw the largest gains from last year compared to the other two Newton high schools - English/language arts increased 4 percentage points, math increased 5 percentage points, science increased 11 percentage points and social studies increased 6 percentage points.

"Newton High School is extremely proud of the gains achieved in each area of the Georgia High School Graduation Test," Newton High School principal Roderick Sams said in a press release. "The improvement in the pass rate of each subject area is the result of several collaborative efforts on behalf of many here at Newton High. Making sure that every child has every chance for success is not just a slogan or a motto, but a belief that every student has the opportunity to achieve at the highest level. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty, staff, students and parents of Newton High School for this well-deserved level of achievement."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.