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DCSS scores improve; lag behind state averages

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County high school students showed improved results in six of seven 2013 End-Of-Course-Tests categories compared to last year, according to data released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education.

The district, however, still trails the state average in all seven testing categories -- math II, biology, U.S. history, economics, American literature and ninth-grade literature.

The largest single gain for DCSS came in math II, where 37 percent of students met or exceeded the state average, an 11 percent gain from last year's 26 percent. The state average was 54 percent.

Math I test results were not included for Dougherty County because too few students tested, and coordinated algebra results were not included because as a first-year program, comparison numbers were not available.

"Our math supervisors worked really hard to make sure our teachers understood the math concepts," DCSS Testing Supervisor Renee Bridges said in explaining the jump in math results. "We brought in experts for professional development and stressed teaching to standards."

The district fell in just one category -- ninth-grade literature, falling to 73 percent "meets or exceeds requirements" from 75 percent last year. The state average is 85 percent.

"Overall, we are disappointed in our scores," Bridges said. "But we are working very hard to improve the attitude of our students and make sure our teachers have the knowledge and work skills to prepare our students for end-of-course testing."

Other systemwide results were:

Math II: 37 percent of students met or exceeded the standard, an improvement of 11 percent over 2012. The state average is 59 percent.

Westover had 58 percent, Monroe 32 percent, Albany 29 percent and Dougherty 23 percent.

Ninth Grade Literature: 73 percent of students met or exceeded the standard, a decrease of 2 percent from 2012. The state average is 86 percent.

Westover had 86 percent, Albany 73 percent, Monroe 68 percent and Dougherty 64 percent.

Biology: 57 percent of students met or exceeded the standard, an increase of 7 percent from 2012. The state average is 74 percent.

Westover had 80 percent, Albany 64 percent, Monroe 39 percent and Dougherty 38 percent.

Physical Science: 61 percent of students met or exceeded the standard, an increase of 1 percent over 2012. The state average is 83 percent.

Dougherty had 71 percent, Westover 70 percent, Albany 62 percent, and Monroe 42 percent.

U.S. History: 41 percent of students met or exceeded the standard an increase of 6 percent over 2012. The state average is 73 percent.

Westover 55 percent, Albany 47 percent, Monroe 33 percent and Dougherty 26 percent.

Economics: 53 percent of students met or exceeded the standard, an increase of 1 percent over 2012. The state average is 79 percent.

Albany 72 percent, Westover 58 percent, Monroe 49 percent and Dougherty 49 percent.

American Literature: 80 percent of students met or exceeded the standard, an increase of 1 percent over 2012. The state average is 91 percent.

Westover had 90 percent, Monroe 81 percent, Albany 75 percent, and Dougherty 61 percent.

"We are not satisfied, but we are hopeful," DCSS Curriculum Director Ufot Inyang said. "We have made the changes we feel are necessary to move forward toward accountability. We have very high expectations and we will closely watch each and every child.

"There are no more excuses."

Inyang said the groundwork has been laid for the DCSS to meet or exceed the state averages in two years.

Bridges was also hopeful.

"I was at Monroe yesterday and parents were bringing their children in for testing," Bridges said. "They (the parents) were engaged in the process, making sure their children were in the right place at the right time and they were asking questions.

"I found it very refreshing."