Juniors treated to party for passing exit exam

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

You wouldn’t think a pizza party would entice high school students to achieve success, but it does.

That was evident Monday and Tuesday as approximately 50 11th graders from Greenville High School converged on Pizza Hut to eat their fill of the lunch buffet.

GHS Principal Kathy Murphy made her way through the students talking to them as they enjoyed their lunch.

&uot;These are our juniors who passed all parts of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam,&uot; she said beaming.

&uot;They did it on their first attempt.&uot;

Dr. Murphy said unlike in years past, the state now holds the schools accountable for the juniors’ performance on the AHSGE.

&uot;In years past, we were more concerned with the seniors passing the exams,&uot; she said.

&uot;Now the emphasis is on the juniors so that they can pass the exam and enter their final year in high school without the burden of passing the test.&uot;

She said the pizza party is a two-fold attempt at getting more students to work towards the goal of passing on their first attempt.

&uot;One it recognizes a job well done and they are rewarded with the opportunity to leave school under supervision and enjoy lunch out,&uot; she said.

&uot;Two, this is an incentive to others who didn’t fare so well on their first attempt.

We’ll give the test again in March and those who pass it all then, we’ll bring them out here as well.

I believe others at the school will be encouraged to do better because they’ll hear and see what a great time these students had here.&uot;

She said this year the state held the schools accountable for the reading and math portion of the students’ tests.

&uot;There are five parts total,&uot; Murphy said.

&uot;Next year they will likely added another section on and then another the year after.&uot;

The big issue for the schools is student participation.

&uot;The state grades us on what percentage of our students show up to take the test,&uot; she said.

&uot;We have these incentives as a way of showing our students that it is important for them to take the test as juniors.&uot;

Murphy pointed out this exam is the difference between graduating high school and simply marching with the class at the end of their final year.

&uot;That’s what is important here,&uot; she said.

&uot;Making sure these students march out of Tiger Stadium with a diploma and not simply marching.&uot;

She said other incentives include a cookout planned for students who participated in the graduation exam and also a drawing for a TV/DVD combo.

It was obvious on Monday as the students ate and chatted freely amongst themselves that they were extremely happy with the incentive.