Newton students struggle with math on EOCTs

COVINGTON – The Newton County School System scored at or above the state average in the areas of literature, science and social studies on high school End of Course Tests, but fell below the state average in math.

On ninth-grade literature, NCSS had 89.9 percent of students meet EOCT standards, slightly higher than the state average of 88 percent. In American literature, 94.3 percent of NCSS students met the standardized test’s measures, compared to 93 percent of Georgia students.

According to the Georgia Department of Education, Newton students scored marginally higher than the state average on science content areas. NCSS had 76.2 percent of students meet biology standards, while 88.4 met the physical science standards. At the state average, 75 percent of Georgia students met biology standards, and 85 percent met physical science standards.

NCSS students scored significantly higher than the state average in social studies. On U.S. history, 81.3 percent of Newton students met EOCT standards, in comparison to the state average of 73 percent. Students in NCSS also performed well on economics, with 89.5 percent of students meeting the test’s standards, while 81 percent of Georgia students on average met economics standards.

However, Newton students scored below the state average on math areas. On analytic geometry, 30.3 percent of NCSS students met EOCT standards, compared to the 35 percent of Georgia students on average who did the same. In coordinate algebra, only 29.3 percent of Newton students met standards, while 40 percent of students did the same on average throughout the state.

“Our high school team and students are to be commended for their tenacity and concentrated efforts,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey in a released statement. “Our families and community can be proud of our improvements as they demonstrate our continued commitment to our non-negotiable goals of ‘more effective teaching and increased student achievement.’ It’s important to note, that we are not satisfied with these results as it’s our mission to provide ‘educational excellence for all students.’ We’re not there yet—but we are on the way! We will continue to strategize, engage our parents and community, and work diligently to improve our student outcomes.”

The state DOE’s website states that the purpose of the EOCT is to improve teaching and learning for Georgia’s education system, aligning with Georgia’s state-mandated content standards. This includes assessing students’ abilities on the content areas of ninth-grade literature, American literature, coordinate algebra, both general and analytic geometry, math II, biology, physical science, U.S. history and economics. The DOE shows no data for NCSS scores on EOCT general geometry or math II.

The EOCT, which replaced the Georgia High School Graduation Tests in 2011, counts for 20 percent of high school students’ final grades. The results will also factor into the high school accountability portion of the College and Career Ready Performance Index.

The EOCT was administered for the last time in Georgia in the 2013-2014 school year. It will be replaced in the next school year with the Georgia Milestones assessment. Like the EOCT, Georgia Milestones will be a graduation requirement for high school students, and will test them on the same content areas as the EOCT, except for math II and general geometry.