By Sherri EllingtonAn initial report shows Lamar County schools’ scores on End of Course Tests are up by 15% on six of seven tests and the other test remained the same.Superintendent Bill Truby said the first result returns indicate the ‘students are learning and our teachers are working hard and making the adjustments needed to improve.’ He anticipates a major synopsis when all data is in that is likely to include words such as ‘improved, progressing and in some cases superlative,’ he added.’One of the measures we have to indicate the progress we’re making academically each year is the summary we receive on our state tests,’ said Truby.The Department of Education has released its spring 2012 End of Course Test results, but local results have not yet been completely compared to earlier years. The test which was the same as last year was taken by only a small number of students.Each test is broken down into the number of students who took the test, their overall average score and its comparable rounded score. These scores are then converted to a regular grade score. Proficiency levels are broken down into groups one through three, with one being the lowest level. PL1-3 is the new designation for what was called ‘does not meet,’ ‘meets’ and ‘exceeds.’’I’ll be doing a major synopsis when we get all the data but right now we’re looking at our End of Course Tests. When I see numbers that show gains of up to 15% on six of seven tests and another that stayed the same, I can see our students are learning and our teachers are working hard and making the adjustments needed to improve. I look forward to providing a report on all of our test scores. I anticipate using the words ‘˜improved’, ‘˜progressing’ and in many cases ‘˜superlative’.’Local EOCT scores are as follows::Physical science: 163 students were tested, with a mean score of 438.17 and a rounded score of 438. This is a mean grade conversion of 85 points.Proficiency levels equaled 22.7% at level one, 37.4% at level two and 39.9% at level three.Biology: 180 students were tested, with a mean score of 416.01 and a rounded score of 416. This is a mean grade conversion of 76. Proficiency levels were 30% at level one, 53.3% at level two and 16.7% at level three. U.S. History: 178 students were tested with a mean score of 417.96 and a rounded score of 418. This is a mean grade conversion of 77. Proficiency levels came out to 35.4% at level one, 36% at level two and 28.7% at level three. Ninth grade literature and composition: 173 students were tested with a mean score of 428.98 and a rounded score of 429. This is a mean grade conversion of 82. Proficiency levels are 16.2% at level one, 56.1% at level two and 27.7% at level three.American literature: 171 students were tested with a mean score of 430.13 and a rounded score of 430. This is a mean grade conversion of 82. Proficiency levels were 13.5% at level one, 60.2% at level two and 26.3% at level three.Math II: 170 students were tested with a mean score of 404.1 and a rounded score of 404. This is a mean grade conversion of 72. Proficiency levels were 45.9% at level one, 50.6% at level two and 3.5% at level three.Math I: 182 students were tested with a mean score of 409.53 and a rounded score of 410. This is a mean grade conversion of 74. Proficiency levels were 33% at level one, 55.5% at level two and 11.5% at level three. Economics: 22 students were tested with a mean score of 390.77 and a rounded score of 391. This is a mean grade conversion of 67. Proficiency levels were 54.5% at level one, 36.4% at level two and 9.1% at level three.’The test we went down in wasn’t given to our first time test takers,’ said Dr. Truby. ‘We’ve changed when that test is given to 12th grade. Thus, the number tested ‘“ 22 ‘“ doesn’t represent a normal test for us. Lamar County didn’t give the economics test this year to first time test-takers. Therefore, we only have full scores for the other seven subjects. We’ll be resuming this test when our 12th graders are taking economics once again.’Results of spring Georgia EOCTs show student improvement in seven of eight tests. In comparing results to spring 2011, students demonstrated improvement in U.S. history, economics, biology, physical science, ninth grade literature, American literature and mathematics I. The percentage of students who met or exceeded standards for math II decreased by one percent statewide.In April 2011, the state board of education approved a plan to phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, beginning with students who entered ninth grade for the first time in the 2011-12 school year. For these students, the EOCT counts as 20% of the final grade, an increase from the previous 15%.’It’s encouraging to see student performance increase in the large majority of the EOCTs,’ said state school superintendent Dr.John Barge. ‘The tests are more rigorous than the GHSGTs, so increases are further testament to the great job our teachers are doing delivering Georgia Performance Standards to students in a way they’re grasping.’Beginning this school year, EOCTs will be used as a factor of high school success for accountability purposes on the new College and Career Ready Performance Index. Any student receiving credit for a course that requires an EOCT must take part.The test serves as the final exam for the course.