North Atlanta beats city on tests

Georgia’s high school students showed progress this spring on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT), administered to 11th-graders.

The percentage of students meeting standards on the GHSGT rose from the previous year in all four subject areas: mathematics, science, English language arts and social studies.

“The results of the 2009 GHSGT show that our students continue to make steady progress in all areas of the curriculum,” State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox said. “This is especially noteworthy in the areas of science and English language arts, which are fully aligned to our new curriculum.”

Statewide, 80.11 percent of the 94,536 students who took all four tests passed them all. The breakdown by test: 95,512 taking the English language arts test, averaging 237.11, with 89.99 percent passing; 95,566 taking math, averaging 534.87, with 93.51 percent passing; 95,355 taking the science test, averaging 236.5, with 87.86 percent passing; and 95,190 taking social studies, averaging 521.89, with 87.24 percent passing.

At North Atlanta High School in Buckhead, 73.68 percent of the 209 students who took all of the tests passed them. In English language arts, 211 students took the test, and 85.31 percent passed, with an average of 235.03. In math, 88.57 percent of 210 test takers passed, and the average score was 527.18. In science, 209 took the test, with 80.86 percent passing, and the average score was 229.24. In social studies, 209 students took the test, and 88.04 percent passed, averaging 522.92.

For all of Atlanta Public Schools, 2,412 students took all four tests, and 67 percent passed them. In English language arts, 83 percent of 2,459 test takers passed, and the average score was 226. In math, 2,462 took the test, and 86 percent passed, averaging 522. In science, 77 percent of 2,454 students passed, and the average score was 223. In social studies, 2,452 took the test, and 80 percent passed, with an average score of 515.

“Our district’s focus on math and science continues to reap dividends for our schools, and our students are demonstrating that they are better prepared for post-secondary institutions and career success,” Atlanta Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall said. “We believe that as our work progresses, schools will continue to see steady and consistent increases in student performance.”

Hall receives more national recognition

Atlanta Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall continued to garner accolades in June with a national award and a leadership post with a national education group.

On June 23, Hall was elected secretary-treasurer of the Council of the Great City Schools, making her part of a three-person leadership team for the coalition of 67 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems.

Her one-year term begins July 1.

On June 11, Hall accepted the Keystone Center Award for Leadership in Education in Washington, D.C. She is the first K-12 superintendent to win the Keystone education award, whose previous winners include former National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts, Harvard University’s Jane Nelson and Stanford University’s Donald Kennedy.

Hall previously was named the state and national Superintendent of the Year.

Hall said she accepted the Keystone award “in honor of everyone who has contributed to the steady and consistent progress of Atlanta Public Schools” during the 10 years of her superintendency.

“Urban students are learning, and they’re doing so at high levels in Atlanta Public Schools,” Hall said. “Every day I report to work inspired by the possibilities of what could happen if we truly educated larger numbers of the children of America at high levels.”