Math, Biology EOC scores on the rise

Kathleen Cook , Editor-In-Chief

Students are not the only ones who fret about EOC scores at the end of each school year.

Our school and county are evaluated on how well or how poorly students perform on these tests.

Last year there were EOC tests on three subjects: English II, Math 1 and Biology. Scores improved on the Math 1 and Biology tests by 3.4 and 3.8 percentage points respectively. However, the scores on the English II scores fell 6.6 percentage points.
When compared to other schools in Wake County, Biology scores were 11.8 percentage points above the average.

Science department chair Patrick Marshall has an idea of what contributed to the rise in scores.

“The hard work and dedication of our Biology teachers here at Wake Forest,” Marshall said in an e-mail.

Another factor to consider was the purchase of review books that the classes used. Teachers also utilized an online program called Class Scape, which has assessments that align to N.C.’s standards. There also were review sessions held as the test neared for students.

Though the English test scores did not meet expectations, chair Geoff Belcher attributes the poor performance to students’ comfort level.

“We did not have students practice enough with cold readings,” Belcher said.
Belcher said the English Department has a good plan to raise their scores this upcoming year.

“We are providing students with a lot more practice. They are practicing annotating once a week, Belcher said.”

The department is going to try mixing up the types of texts students are seeing in an effort to increase the scores.

“We’re increasing both the number of challenging texts, and we’re also varying increasingly difficult passages such as historical documents, poetry and articles,” John Cook, English II teacher said in an e-mail.

There are actions that students can take that would help to boost their scores. Cook said the answer is simple.

“Students must annotate. It’s really a skill that needs to be learned in order to truly understand what any given text is about, not just on a surface level, which we want to move away from, but on a deeper, more meaningful and comprehensive level.”

Belcher said English II teachers cannot be stuck on last year’s scores. Instead, they are focused on doing whatever they can to ensure that the scores are higher this year.

Cook said, “We’re confident that increasing the difficult texts students are exposed to will help to raise scores in a positive way.”