New state law does away with graduation test

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

A new state law could have a major impact on the future of hundreds of Henry County students, past and present.

House Bill 91 passed the General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session and was signed March 30 by Gov. Nathan Deal. It eliminates the Georgia High School Graduation Test that has been required for several years for a student to receive a diploma.

The Henry County Board of Education has put on its web site several pages of information about these latest developments, including an extensive Q&A section for anyone who might need to consider his or her options.

Former students who have not gotten diplomas because they didn’t pass portions or all of the graduation test can now petition to get their diplomas, according to a statement issued last week by the school system. A direct link to the necessary information can be found on the school board’s Facebook page.

Students are eligible for diplomas if they have completed all academic course requirements for graduation; are only missing a passing score on one or more sections of the GHSGT; previously attended a Henry County high school and received a certificate of performance; or received a Special Education Diploma and are only missing a passing GHSGT score in one or more subjects.

A student who is eligible according to the above criteria can complete a petition form found on the school board’s web site and send it to his or her school’s counseling department. The counseling department will evaluate each petition, determine if all other graduation requirements have been met and then contact students directly about their diploma status

Interested parties can also go to the Georgia House of Representatives web site and read the complete text of the law.

“Please keep in mind that there are still multiple End of Course Tests that students must take and pass in order to complete specific courses and receive credit towards graduation,” according to the school board’s statement. “This law just does away with the one big state test at the end. Students still have to prove mastery of content.”