More Georgia high school students are passing a state writing test. 93% of students passed the exam this year, up from 91% last year. State education officials started phasing out the high school graduation test last year. But they kept the writing test. Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza says students still have to pass that test to earn a diploma.
“Writing is very similar to reading," he says, "It’s a skill that every student is going to need to have to be successful in college or in a career somewhere down the line.”
A higher percentage of African-American and Latino students passed the test this year, narrowing the achievement gap with white students. Cardoza says that’s significant.
“Closing that gap is very important because all students are going to go on from high school into either a career or on to college," Cardoza says, "So, we have to make sure that all of those students are at that proficiency level.”
Students take the test their junior year. However, if they don’t pass, they can retake it an unlimited number of times.