1 less thing for high schoolers: State to end graduation tests


The Georgia State Board of Education (BoE) on April 13 approved a recommendation that will phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) completely over the next few years. The test will no longer be required for students entering high school this fall. Students entering high school between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2011 have the option of taking the End-of-Course Test (EOCT) in a given content area.

“Georgia has been trying to eliminate the Georgia High School Graduation Test for over a decade,” said state School Superintendent John Barge. “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.”

The students who enter high school in the fall this year will no longer take the English, math, social studies and science tests in order to graduate, said Georgia Dept. of Education spokesperson Matt Cardoza.

“This new plan will require students to pass all required courses, and the End-of-Course Tests would now count 20 percent of a student’s final grade, rather than the current 15 percent weight,” Cardoza said.

Cardoza said the rule amendments by the state BoE also allows flexibility for students who entered ninth grade between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2011. Those students can meet graduation requirements by demonstrating proficiency on the End-of-Course Test in each corresponding content area (language arts, math, science and social studies). The GHSGT will remain available for any student unable to meet the testing requirement through the EOCT in any content area, Cardoza said.

“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,” Cardoza said. “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.”

Cardoza said the elimination of the GHSGT does not alter the requirement that every student must continue to complete all applicable course requirements and pass the Georgia High School Writing Test.