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More students pass writing test

LAWRENCEVILLE — More students passed the Georgia High School Writing Test this year, with 94 percent of all students in the state meeting or exceeding standards on the assessment.

That’s a five percentage point increase from last year, when 89 percent of students passed the mandatory writing test, according data released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education.

The following chart shows the percentage of high school students who passed the Georgia High School Writing Test on their first attempt and the percentage of students who exceeded the standard.

High School Pass Exceeds the Standard

Phoenix 100% 3.7%

Gwinnett School

of Mathematics,

Science and

Technology 100% 51%

Buford 99.5% 16.9%

Mill Creek 99.4% 12.1%

Brookwood 99.3% 20.8%

Parkview 99.2% 14.8%

Loganville 99% 10.8%

Collins Hill 98.9% 10.6%

Grayson 98.8% 10.9%

Archer 98.7% 7%

Mountain View 98.6% 11.7%

North Gwinnett 98.5% 20.1%

Peachtree Ridge 98.3% 16.9%

Shiloh 98% 6.1%

South Gwinnett 97.9% 4.5%

Duluth 97.3% 18.6%

Dacula 97.3% 12.8%

Norcross 96.9% 12.6%

Meadowcreek 96.4% 4.9%

Apalachee 96.3% 17%

Berkmar 94.3% 8%

Central Gwinnett 94.2% 8.5%

Winder-Barrow 93.4% 7.5%

Gwinnett County

Public Schools 97.8% 12.8%

Georgia* 95.5% 8.2%

* In Georgia, 94 percent of all test-takers passed the Georgia High School Writing Test.

Source: Georgia Department of Education

“Good writing skills are critical to the future success of our students,” state Superintendent Bryant. “I am very pleased to see this improvement. Our students, teachers and administrators should be very proud of these results because they are getting the job done under the Georgia Performance Standards.”

In Gwinnett County, the number of students who passed the test increased from 95 to 97 percent, said Jeff Barker, the school system’s executive director for accountability and assessment.

Barker said the district is pleased with the results but will remain focused on improvement.

“What we want to do is focus on moving our ‘meets’ kids to the ‘exceeds’ column,” Barker said. “That would be our ultimate goal here.”

The school with the highest percentage of students exceeding standards in the state is the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, with 51 percent making top marks on the test. All of the school’s first-time test takers passed the test.

Other high schools in Gwinnett with a high percentage of students exceeding standards were Brookwood, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge and Duluth.

Also in Gwinnett, Buford High School had one of the highest pass rates in the state — 99.5 percent. Additionally, nearly 17 percent of students exceeded the standards.

“In three years, we have increased from a 92 percent pass rate to 99.5 percent pass rate,” principal Banks Bitterman said. “This has taken a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance from our faculty and students, and I could not be more proud.”

The Writing Test is administered to students during their 11th-grade year. Students who previously took the test but did not pass may take it again.

This fall marked the fourth main administration of the Writing Test based on the Georgia Performance Standards.