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Writing test scores in Henry County see improvement


  Henry County Schools juniors taking the Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) for the first time have more to write about now after improving the district’s percentage of those meeting or exceeding standards from the previous year.

  The group’s passing percentage of 96 percent is also higher than the state average of 95 percent.  Compared to previous data, this year’s figure for Henry County Schools shows a one percent increase from 2011 and a return to the percentage attained in 2010.  The percentage of students passing in 2009 was 94 percent.

  More good news shows the number of Henry County Schools’ students not meeting standards decreased by a percentage point this year compared to 2011.  Subsequently, the percentage of students meeting standards improved one point, and the percentage of students exceeding standards remained the same.

  “We are pleased to see an increase in our students’ performance on the state writing test,” said Dr. Ethan Hildreth, Superintendent of Henry County Schools.  “Our success rate of 96% reflects the hard work of our students and teachers, and we look forward to building on this success.”

  Aaryn Schmuhl, Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Leadership Services, agreed with Hildreth, saying, “We continue to make effective writing a focus across all content areas, and there is evidence of that work in the increase in test scores.”

  Although the overall pass rate is good, we continue to focus on increasing the number of students who are exceeding expectations.”

  The GHSWT scores a student’s writing composition based on four domains.  These domains include ideas, organization, style, and conventions.

  Students must pass the test in order to graduate, and they can take it multiple times in their junior and senior years trying to score at least 200 out of the maximum 350 points.  Anything below 200 points requires a student to retake the test.

  Here are more highlights from the individual schools’ scores:

  Six (6) out of 10 schools saw decreases in the number of students not meeting standards.  The highest reduction in this number took place at Stockbridge High School.  Numbers moved from 10 percent not meeting standards down to 5 percent.

  Nine (9) out of 10 schools saw increases or remained the same in terms of the number of students meeting standards.  Stockbridge High School also saw the largest increase in this number, moving from 87 percent in 2011 to 91 percent in 2012.

  Five (5) out of 10 schools saw increases or remained the same in terms of the number of students exceeding standards.  Patrick Henry High School had the largest increase in this area.  They had four percent of their first-time test takers exceed standards compared to zero the previous year.

  Nine (9) out of 10 schools saw at least 93 percent of their first-time test takers meet or exceed standards.



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