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Gwinnett writing test scores outpace state average

High school students in Georgia continued to improve in state writing tests, and Gwinnett students scored even higher than their peers around the state in results released this week by the Georgia Department of Education.

The Georgia High School Writing Test, which students must pass to receive a high school diploma, is scored on a scale of 350 points, while a passing score is 200 points. Students can take the test multiple times in their junior and senior year.

Gwinnett County Public Schools students had a mean writing score of 230, while 97 percent of the 10,475 students who took the test had a passing grade, almost the exact figure as last year.

Fifteen percent exceeded the standard, which was down from 16 percent last year.

Jeff Barker, executive director of the district’s accountability and assessment department, said the district measures the scores over a four-year period. GCPS scores have improved by one point in the last four years. Barker said the scores vary based on how interesting of a question the students are asked.

“Our goal is to move more of those kids into that exceeds category,” said Barker, referring to the 250-point level.

To reach that goal, Barker said the district uses a computer software program called “Write to Learn” that gives students feedback immediately.

The state’s mean writing score was 223.71, while 94 percent of students passed the test. Last year, the state average was 93 percent, up two points from 2011. In 2007, when the test was first administered, Georgia students scored 88 percent.

Results for local schools include the following:

Barrow County 4.9 exceeds standard, 94.8 percent pass, 221.21 mean score

Buford City Schools 17.2 exceeds standard, 99.6 percent pass, 235.73 mean score

Grayson High 13.3 exceeds standard, 97.9 percent pass, 229.53 mean score

Norcross High 12.3 exceeds standard, 95.6 percent pass, 228.16 mean score

Mill Creek High 15.6 exceeds standard, 98.8 percent pass, 232.60 mean score

Parkview High 15.7 exceeds standard, 97.5 percent pass, 231.54 mean score

Brookwood High 22.7 exceeds standard, 98.6 percent pass, 238.02 mean score

Shiloh High 7.7 exceeds standard, 97.3 percent pass, 224.19 mean score

Meadowcreek High 6.0 exceeds standard, 95.2 percent pass, 222.97 mean score

Phoenix High School 8.2 exceeds standard, 91.8 percent pass, 217.96 mean score

Collins Hill High 10.6 exceeds standard, 98.2 percent pass, 228.45 mean score

GIVE Center East 6.7 exceeds standard, 100.0 percent pass, 232.40 mean score

Peachtree Ridge High 26.5 exceeds standard, 97.1 percent pass, 239.09 mean score

Lanier High School 9.2 exceeds standard, 97.4 percent pass, 226.63 mean score

Gwinnett Math Sci Tec 38.9 exceeds standard, 100.0 percent pass, 250.70 mean score

Berkmar High 5.8 exceeds standard, 93.0 percent pass, 220.83 mean score

GIVE West 0.0 exceeds standard, 72.7 percent pass, 208.73 mean score

Gwinnett Online 14.3 exceeds standard, 100.0 percent pass, 237.07 mean score

Mountain View High 17.0 exceeds standard, 98.3 percent pass, 233.26 mean score

Archer High 12.8 exceeds standard, 98.1 percent pass, 229.30 mean score

South Gwinnett High 6.5 exceeds standard, 95.4 percent pass, 223.40 mean score

Central Gwinnett High 6.8 exceeds standard, 95.8 percent pass, 223.70 mean score

Dacula High 11.8 exceeds standard, 97.2 percent pass, 228.52 mean score

North Gwinnett High 34.6 exceeds standard, 97.5 percent pass, 243.94 mean score

Duluth High 17.0 exceeds standard, 96.7 percent pass, 233.35 mean score