Standardized Test Results Mixed For Aiken County - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Standardized Test Results Mixed For Aiken County

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Aiken County, SC -

The scores are in for Aiken County when it comes to the 2013 High School Assessment Program results and the 2013 Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) test scores.

Read the text of the press release we received from the school system below:

AIKEN – Aiken County Public Schools, in conjunction with the State Department of Education have released the 2013 High School Assessment Program results and the 2013 Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) test scores.

High School Assessment Program:

Students enrolled in South Carolina public schools must pass both sections of the HSAP to meet the state's exit examination requirement for a high school diploma. Aiken County Public School's High School Assessment Program (HSAP) district average continues to be above the state average. An increased amount of students (85.8%) in Aiken County passed both sections of the test on their first attempt; a 3.9% jump over 2012 scores. Nine out of ten (92.3%) passed the English language arts portion of the test, and 87.5% passed the math portion. The HSAP meets the federal requirement of having a testing program to measure high school progress. Students must meet the state standard of a Level 2 score or higher in order to meet the diploma requirement. The tests are initially administered in the 10th grade, and students who do not pass both sections have additional opportunities to retake the tests.

"The overwhelmingly positive results on the HSAP are a result of the hard work of our teachers, administrators, and our students. Extra assistance for students and professional development for our teachers have paid off. I'm confident that our students are well-prepared for life after high school, whether they pursue college or move into a career," states Dr. Elizabeth Everitt, Superintendent of Schools.

Notable ELA results include:

  • Aiken County scored higher than the state average by 1.6%
  • Silver Bluff High had the largest increase over last year's score: a 9.1% leap
  • South Aiken High increased by 5.1%
  • District had a 3.2% increase

Notable Math results include:

  • Aiken County scored higher than the state average by 4.0%
  • Silver Bluff High had had the largest increase over last year's score: a 8.1% leap
  • Aiken High increased by 6.9%
  • District had a 3.0% increase
  • All subgroups improved their performance; African-American students increased by 5.0%

Notable results for students passing both tests on their first attempt:

  • Silver Bluff High made a substantial increase of 11.3% over last year's score
  • Aiken High had a 6.5% increase over last year
  • Aiken County outperformed the state by 3.8%
  • Five Aiken County schools increased while one remained the same and one decreased

"I am extremely proud of our faculty/staff and students for this accomplishment. Silver Bluff has exceeded the district and the state percentages on First Attempt; passing on both Math and English. Also, for Silver Bluff to have the highest passage rate for the Math portion of HSAP is phenomenal.  All of the Silver Bluff community should be pleased," states Collette Johnson, principal of Silver Bluff High.

"Over the last two years the high school principals and I have made a concerted effort to inspect what we expect. We have spent significant time in classrooms observing teachers and students in an attempt to isolate successful strategies and resources. Those successes have been generalized to the schools as a whole. We expect increased rigor and engagement, and the teachers have responded. Students are expected to write, think, and analyze critically, thus preparing them for success on the HSAP. They also have improved their performance. The principals have a clear vision for what they expect in their high schools and they have created the atmosphere and provided the resources to teachers and students to allow them to be more successful in testing situations such as HSAP," states Dr. Tim Yarborough, High School Academic Officer.

You may contact Dr. Tim Yarborough at 803.641.2454 or via email to inquire about Aiken County Public Schools HSAP testing results. For additional state testing data, click here or contact Laura Bayne in the State Department of Education at 803-734-8776 or

Palmetto Assessment of State Standards

South Carolina and federal laws require end-of-the-year accountability tests for grades 3-8 that are based on state academic standards. The results include scores in five subject areas: writing, English language arts (reading and research), mathematics, science and social studies.

PASS has three scoring levels:

  • Exemplary – The student demonstrated exemplary performance in meeting the grade level standard.
  • Met – The student met the grade-level standard.
  • Not met – The student did not meet the grade-level standard.

Aiken district scores showed increases in the number of students scoring Met or Exemplary for English Language Arts (ELA)  in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th grades, but decreases in Math district scores except at the 5th grade level, which stayed the same. PASS scores at individual elementary and middle schools showed mixed results, with some scores increasing and others decreasing. Some schools, such as Warrenville Elementary which has been recognized as a state Reward School for Progress, showed substantial growth in certain grades.

Parents will be receiving Individual Student Reports at the start of school so that they can monitor their childrens' progress. More information about the academic achievement at individual schools will be available on the state report cards which will come out in a few weeks.

Superintendent Everitt states, "This last school year, schools focused on the new SC Common Core Standards and are preparing for a new assessment that will be aligned with the new standards.  Although our PASS scores were not as strong as past results, we will use this information to pinpoint potential weaknesses in our curriculum."

For additional Aiken County testing data, please contact Dr. Randy Stowe, Director of Administrative Services, via email or 803-641-2490. For more South Carolina PASS testing information, please click here or contact the State Department of Education's Office of Assessment at 803-734-8535.

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