GEE keeps just 4 from graduating

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 8, 1998

By Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / June 8, 1998

RESERVE – Only four seniors in St. John the Baptist Parish were unable tograduate due to failing a portion of the Graduate Exit Exam.

For the most part, GEE scores in the parish elevated this year over last year.

There are five parts to the GEE. Written composition, language arts andmath are initially given to students in the 10th grade, while 11th-graders take the science and social studies portions of the test. Students canretest as many times as the tests are given in order to achieve a passing score.

East St. John High School improved its scores in language arts, writtencomposition, science and social studies but went down six percentage points in math.

The school’s largest improvement was in science. This year 82 percent ofthe students passed that part of the exam, whereas last year only 75 percent passed science.

West St. John High School improved in language and written composition,remained stable in math with 51 percent passing the exam, and went down in science and social studies.

Scores for West St. John High students plummeted 19 points in socialstudies and drastically fell 22 points in science. But the school improvedfive points with a high 95 percent of the students passing the written composition part. The school also improved another seven points inlanguage arts with 86 percent of the students passing that section of the exam.

Superintendent Cleveland Farlough said he was pleased that only four of the estimated 300 seniors in the parish were unable to graduate due to the GEE.

“The other scores don’t matter as much,” he said. “It’s whether or not wecan get our students to the point that they can pass when they are seniors.”In a related matter, ACT scores improved at both schools. Last year EastSt. John’s average was an 18.2, whereas this year students scored anaverage of 19.1 – a score very close to this year’s state’s average of 19.4.West St. John’s average for last year is 16.2, and this year’s average is animproved 17.

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