NCSS stu­dents im­prove on EOCT, but math dif­fi­cult

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­

New­ton County School Sys­tem high school stu­dents out­per­formed the state aver­age in three ar­eas on End of Course Tests dur­ing the 2012-13 school year, but EOCT re­sults show that math is still a dif­fi­cult sub­ject for NCSS stu­dents, and stu­dents through­out the state.

Dur­ing the 2012-2013 school year, New­ton County’s high school stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in nine End-of-Course Tests. The EOCTs are one mea­sure of high school suc­cess for ac­count­abil­ity pur­poses on the new Col­lege and Ca­reer Ready Per­for­mance In­dex and also ac­count for a per­cent­age of a stu­dent’s course grade, ac­cord­ing to NCSS of­fi­cials.

The Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion re­leased EOCT re­sults on Wed­nes­day, and pre­lim­i­nary test data pro­vided by the state show that NCSS high school stu­dents sur­passed state av­er­ages in three ar­eas of 201213 school year EOCTs, matched state scores in two ar­eas, and posted a two-point de­cline in one area.

Ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the NCSS, stu­dents out­paced the state in phys­i­cal science, economics, and U.S. his­tory; and matched the state in 9th Grade Lit­er­a­ture and Math II. NCSS stu­dents also in­creased pass rates on five of the seven tests in 2013, in­clud­ing: 9th Grade Lit­er­a­ture; phys­i­cal science; U.S. His­tory; Economics; and Math II.

How­ever, in both the state and New­ton County, stu­dents did not per­form well on the new Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra exam.

Ac­cord­ing to NCSS of­fi­cials, 2013 marked the first year for the Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra test, re­plac­ing the Math I por­tion of the tests. As ex­pected, scores across the state were low. All three New­ton high schools scored be­low the state aver­age on the test.

In Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra, Al­covy High School stu­dents had a score of 19 (with 496 stu­dents tested); East­side had a score of 29 (with 314 stu­dents tested); and New­ton’s aver­age score was a 14 (with 527 stu­dents tested) com­pared with the state aver­age of 37.

In Math I, Al­covy had an aver­age score of 13 (with 71 stu­dents tested); East­side had an aver­age score of 29 (with 42 stu­dents tested); and New­ton had an aver­age of 14 (with 63 stu­dents tested) com­pared with the state aver­age of 29. Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, a small num­ber of stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in Math I be­cause the test was of­fered only to sat­isfy grad­u­a­tion re­quire­ments for those stu­dents.

In Math II, Al­covy scored a 55 (with 469 stu­dents tested); East­side had a score of 76 (with 302 stu­dents tested); and New­ton had an aver­age of 53 (with 479 stu­dents tested) com­pared with the state Math II aver­age of 59.

NCSS su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey said math­e­mat­ics con­tin­ues to be an area in need of more fo­cused at­ten­tion. She said since 2013 was the first year for the Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra EOCT, the new cur­ricu­lum 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,” Fuhrey said, “The Co­or­di­nated Al­ge­bra test is not the typ­i­cal mul­ti­ple choice exam ex­pe­ri­enced in the past.”

Fuhrey added that the 2014 school year will see the ad­di­tion of An­a­lytic Geom­e­try, and she said that school lead­ers are work­ing to en­sure stu­dents ex­pe­ri­ence greater suc­cess. She also said Math II will be phased out in 2014.

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