Georgia school districts received end-of-course test results this week. High school students take the exams after each core class they complete. Once again, math scores were the weak spot for most metro Atlanta districts.
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Most metro districts’ results mirrored the statewide outcomes. Scores in subjects like English literature, U.S. History, and Biology were fairly strong. Math scores were markedly lower. Georgia Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza told WABE officials made the math exams tougher to get students used to new, harder tests coming this school year.
“Last year, with coordinate algebra, we started that and changed that cut score a good bit, the depth of knowledge that students had to have was increased,” Cardoza said. “So, we saw those kind of results with coordinate algebra and again we saw those kind of results with analytic geometry in this second year.”
In the DeKalb schools, for example, 88% of students passed the American Literature test. 30% passed analytic geometry. Spokesperson Quinn Hudson said the district beefed up support programs in anticipation of harder math tests.
“We have in-class tutoring programs, after-class, and weekend, as well as weekend training programs for the teachers,” Hudson said. “So, we have a very robust program aimed at helping the teachers be better teachers and reaching the students that need the help.”
The new testing system, called Georgia Milestones, will ask students to explain their answers. Students will also have to get a higher number of questions right in order to pass.