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High schoolers above state on tests

COVINGTON -- Newton County high schoolers are fairing better than students on average across the state in most of the areas of the state-required End-of-Course-Tests.

The latest results recently released by the Georgia Department of Education show that Newton County students scored above the state in five out of eight categories.

Additionally, the Newton County School System said students improved on seven of eight tests, according to preliminary results.

"These latest EOCT results for NCSS confirm that our folks are on the right track of improvement," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews.

High school students took the tests in the spring in areas such as literature, various sciences, history, economics and math. EOCTs assess a sample of the knowledge and skills in a complete curriculum for each course, according to the GaDOE.

NCSS reported that its students scored above state averages in ninth-grade literature, biology, physical science, U.S. history and economics. Averages below the state include American literature, Math I and Math II.

System-wide, changes from last year range from 0 to an 11-point increase; some schools reported decreases from last year in various subjects.

"Once retest results (from the summer) are entered for NCSS, I anticipate even more positive results," Mathews said.

State-wide, most results also improved.

"It is encouraging to me to see student performance increase in the large majority of the End-of-Course Tests," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "End-of-Course Tests are more rigorous than the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, so increases are further testament to the great job our teachers are doing delivering the Georgia Performance Standards to students in a way that they are grasping."

Beginning this school year, EOCTs will be used as a factor of high school success for accountability purposes on the new College and Career Ready Performance Index, according to the GaDOE. Additionally, EOCTs increasingly are factored more into students' course grades and graduation requirements, in addition to taking the GHSGTs, over the next several years.