Brandi Eley: How one teacher got to an 88% EOCT pass rate

The fact that Brandi Eley’s economics class had a nearly 90 percent pass rate on the End of Course Test (EOCT) was impressive for many reasons.

First, her students attended the Douglas County Performance Learning Center (PLC), an alternative program for those “at risk” students challenged by the traditional high school.

Second, when they arrived in 2009, none of the students was even passing the test.

And third, Brandi Eley had never taught economics before coming to Douglas County PLC.

The veteran teacher taught world and U.S. History at Starr’s Mill High School in Fayette County, and then special education in elementary school. When she came to Douglas County as the lead teacher and social studies facilitator for the PLC, she was faced with a different demographic and a course she’d never taught before.

The first call she made was to the Georgia Council on Economic Education. "I remember talking with Brandi and hearing how much she wanted to be successful," says GCEE Program Manager Mike Raymer. "So the first thing we did was send her some classroom materials to get started."

Eley says the first year teaching was trial and error, and while the test scores improved, they weren't where they needed to be. So she decided to change her approach and began attending Georgia Council workshops.

Within a year, the average passing score was 88 percent.

“The GCEE workshops were amazing because I learned economics from the materials and I used them to help the students learn,” Eley says. “I don’t think I would've had half the pass rate if I didn’t have the assistance of GCEE’s information and workshops.”