COVINGTON — Similar to results across the state, most math scores in Newton County on the End of Course Tests were failing.
The Newton County School System recently reported that its Math I pass rate on the 2012-13 EOCT was 17 percent, below the state’s rate of 29 percent.
The district said the Math I course has been phased out, so only a small number of students took the test — 176 students — so scores cannot be compared to the 2012 results.
The Math II pass rate was 59 percent locally, the same as the state’s rate. The rate in 2012 was 48 percent locally and 54 percent statewide.
Coordinate algebra, which ninth-grade students began this year, had a pass rate of 19.4 percent locally, below the state’s rate of 37 percent.
“Mathematics continues to be an area in need of more focused attention,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey in a press release. “The 2013 school year was the first year for the Coordinate Algebra EOCT, which assessed a new curriculum and required teachers to adjust their teaching techniques to reflect the increased rigor. The curriculum and exam required students to move from recalling facts and plugging numbers into formulas to understanding and identifying mathematical concepts.”
More changes in math are to come.
“The 2014 school year will see the addition of analytic geometry, and school leaders are working to ensure students experience greater success,” Fuhrey said. “Math II will also be phased out in 2014.”
High school students were given EOCTs in ninth-grade literature, American literature, coordinate algebra, Math I and II, biology, physical science, U.S. history and economics.
EOCTs assess a sample of the knowledge and skills in a complete curriculum for each course, according to the Georgia Department of Education.
In April 2011, the State Board of Education approved a plan to phase out Georgia High School Graduation Tests, beginning with students who entered ninth grade for the first time in the 2011-12 school year. For these students, the EOCT counts as 20 percent of the student’s final grade, an increase from the previous 15 percent level.
The results will factor into the high school accountability portion of the new College and Career Ready Performance Index, and they will increasingly be factored into other students’ grades over the next few years.
On the 2012-13 results, NCSS pass rates were above the state in three areas (physical science, U.S. history and economics). Aside from math, they also were below the state in American literature and the same as the state in ninth-grade literature.
Pass rates increased on five of the seven tests, according to preliminary results. Fuhrey said that results may increase more once retest results are factored into scores later this year.
“While we are pleased with the continued improvement in our students’ EOCT results, we are not yet where we wish to be,” Fuhrey said. “Our teachers and school and central office leaders are committed to this upward trend.”