Monday, December 8, 2008

Georgia High School Writing Scores Rise

Students increase score by 2 points to 219, which meets the standards set.

Georgia's High School students showed steady improvement on the state's writing test this fall.

Eighty-nine percent of students met or exceeded standards on the Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) -- up one percentage point from fall, 2007. Many of Georgia's student subgroups showed dramatic gains, including English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.

"Our high schools are doing an excellent job teaching our students the importance of writing and the results are showing on the GHSWT," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "Using our new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards, Georgia is growing a strong generation of writers and communicators."

More than 106,000 students took the GHSWT this fall, of which 96,444 were first-time test takers in grade 11. The pass rate for first-time test takers was 91 percent.

The pass rate for English Language Learners was 65 percent, a jump of 12 percentage points from last year. The pass rate for Students with Disabilities was 60 percent, an increase of five percentage points. The scores of African-American (85 percent) and Hispanic (82 percent) students each rose two percentage points, while the pass rate of white students held steady at 93 percent.

"We are seeing high achievement and improvement across the board on the writing test," Superintendent Cox said.

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