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State school board to do away with graduation test
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The State Board of Education approved State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge’s plan to phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT). Students who enter high school in fall 2011 will no longer take the GHSGT in English, math, social studies and science, in order to graduate. This new plan will require students to pass all required courses, and the End-of-Course Tests (EOCT) would now count 20 percent of a student’s final grade, rather than the current 15 percent weight.

“Georgia has been trying to eliminate the Georgia High School Graduation Test for over a decade,” Barge said. “I appreciate the State Board’s vote that finally allows us to move away from the GHSGT. I don’t believe the GHSGT is nearly as good an indicator of how much a student has learned as our End-of-Course Tests. The EOCTs are much more rigorous, and they test a student immediately following a course, rather than waiting until a student’s junior year to determine whether or not he or she has mastered the content of our curriculum.”

Wednesday’s vote by the State Board of Education formally changed two rules. With these rule amendments, students entering ninth grade on or after July 1, 2011, no longer must take or pass the GHSGT to receive a high school diploma. The rule amendments also reflect the change in the EOCT accounting for 20 percent of a student’s final course grade. Students must pass all required courses, including those courses with EOCT.

These rule amendments also allow flexibility for students who entered ninth grade between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2011, to meet graduation requirements by either passing the GHSGT or at least one of the two equivalent end of course tests in each corresponding content area.