By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - It's a bright day for Muscogee County schools. The school board received some good news late Tuesday night.
"We found out Georgia is the only state that has shown improvement in four critical areas of measurement," School Board Chair Cathy Williams says.
Those areas are the SAT, ACT, AP tests, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The assessment started by looking at which states showed improvement in the SAT, which were 25 states. When ACT scores were added in, that number shrunk to 10. And after AP and NAEP became factors, Georgia was the last state standing.
Georgia State Superintendent Dr. John Barge says in a statement, "I get very frustrated hearing people say Georgia's education system is so bad. We certainly have a lot of room to grow and improvements to make, but these results show that we're moving in the right direction."
Muscogee County school officials say our area is also moving in the right direction, thanks to the county's laser-like approach to education.
"Finding out where students are weak early on then making sure we are doing everything we can to make to intervene and get them up to speed," Williams says.
"I think it shows what type of educators we have in our city," parent Alfred Jenkins says.
Jenkins has two children at Saint Mary's Magnet Academy. Even though his kids are still young, he says he understands the importance of tests like the sat on his children's future.
"When you're growing up you're thinking why do I have to take these tests? But it determines what level you're going to be on and helps you build as a person," Jenkins says.
School officials credit multiple programs here that help the students build to succeed.
"Fifth block at Carver has done an amazing job, the extended day at Jordan and Spencer has helped enormously," Williams says.
New Jersey was the state that had the second largest growth in national tests.
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