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      Dougherty County Schools not making the grade

      Last year Dougherty County celebrated record high school graduation test results. This year it's a new low.

      The grades are in and they are not good , an ~F TM by their own standards.

      The state released the Georgia High school graduation test rates for this year this week and Dougherty County School system our results overall failed, said R.D. Harter of the Dougherty County School System.

      Only 52 percent of first time takers of the Georgia High School Graduation test passed in the Dougherty County School System, down 20 percent from last year.

      Here is how it breaks down at each of the Systems four schools:

      55 percent passed at Albany High School, 40 percent at Dougherty High School, 47 percent at Monroe High School and 64 at Westover High School.

      Harter said the dramatic drop is due to tougher testing standards in social studies.

      This year the standards for the social studies test was reflected on the test, so it is a new test. Whenever a new test is introduced to students, usually there is a year or two of reduced scores, followed by recovery time, said Harter.

      And the numbers match up. All of the schools scored 79 percent or higher in the English, Math and Science tests. But only Westover High scored higher than 60 percent in Social studies and they only passed 67 percent of students.

      But passing is not a problem one county over. At Lee County High 81 percent of students passed the test and 83 percent passed in Social Studies.

      Back in Daugherty County they are confident scores will pick back up.

      Our students will become more familier with the information being requested on the social studies portion of the test and our test scores will improve next year, said Harter.