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School board sees test results
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Forsyth County News
As test results have begun trickling in, it appears the Forsyth County school system has continued to exceed state averages.

Beth Kieffer, the district’s assessment coordinator, shared results from state writing assessments, high school graduation tests and preliminary CRCT performance with the school board Thursday night.

Forsyth fared better than the state in most exams, but slipped from last year’s results, as did the state.

About 87 percent of 11th-graders in the county passed all four portions — English, math, science and social studies — of the Georgia High School Graduation Test on their first try.

Last year, 92 percent of local students passed. The state average of 74 percent is down from 80 percent last year.

After the meeting, Associate Superintendent Lissa Pijanowski said the dip wasn’t a surprise, as this was the first year social studies is measured by Georgia Performance Standards, or GPS, a more rigorous curriculum.

Math scores will make the switch to GPS next year.

Changes aside, Pijanowski said the 13 percent of students who didn’t pass will have five more opportunities to do so.

The school system will provide remediation, test preparation and other services to ensure all students are able to pass before graduation.

So far, only the number of students who did not meet state standards for the CRCT have been released.

The results for fifth-grade and eighth-grade reading and eighth-grade math all posted gains over last year. However, more students failed in third-grade reading and fifth-grade math.  

Board member Mike Dudgeon was surprised, saying it could be his first “time on the board where we had more negative numbers on the list from year to year than we’ve had positive.”

Kieffer noted that schools have been redistricted since last year’s results and enrollment has grown. Both factors can contribute to fewer students meeting and exceeding standards.

Test results came back in time for the school system’s introduction of PROPEL, which is short for Pathways for Reaching Opportunities in Preparing for Excellence in Life.

Cindy Salloum, director of secondary education, briefed the board on the program, a brainchild of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.

The program, which officials hope to have in place by October, aims to lift the system’s 88 percent graduation rate.

“Our community is better than that and we want that to be better,” Salloum said. “We want every child to graduate.”