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State CRCT scores up

COVINGTON - Local school officials may see improved test scores later this month if statewide results are any indication.

Last week, the Georgia Department of Education released the state-level results from the spring Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

State officials at the Georgia Department of Education said Friday that overall state test scores increased in all subject areas from last year's results.

"The 2009 CRCT results are very encouraging and show that our students are learning more advanced concepts and are able to apply that knowledge properly," State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox said in a press release. "Our elementary and middle school teachers should feel very proud - they are getting the job done."

Highlights from the state-level scores include an 80 percent pass rate, or 5 percentage point jump, in third-grade science; an 88 percent pass rate, or 1 percentage point jump, in third-grade reading; a 76 percent pass rate, or 5 percentage point increase, in fifth-grade science; an 88 percent pass rate, or 1 percentage point increase, in fifth-grade reading; a 79 percent pass rate, or 7 percentage point jump, in fifth-grade math; a 90 percent pass rate in sixth-grade reading; a 91 percent pass rate in sixth-grade English; an 89 percent pass rate in seventh-grade reading and English language arts; a 70 percent pass rate, or an 8 percentage point jump, in eighth-grade math; and a 93 percent pass rate, or 2 percentage point jump, in eighth-grade reading.

Students in third-, fifth- and eighth-grades must meet or exceed standards in reading, and fifth- and eighth-grade students also must meet or exceed the standards in math to be promoted to the next grade level. Students who fail have an opportunity to retake the test over the summer.

The test also counts towards a school's Adequate Yearly Progress, which determines if it is on the state's Needs Improvement list under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The state has not yet released system-level and school-level results. According to the press release, system-level data will be available no later than June 19 and school-level results will be available no later than July 7.

Officials from the Newton County School System also have not released any preliminary results or commented on any expectations of results as of press time Wednesday.

Last school year, the average percentage of first- through eighth-grade students in NCSS who met or exceeded standards on the tests, or passed the test, were at or below state pass averages.

More information about the CRCT is available on the GaDOE Web site, www.gadoe.org, where system-level and school-level results will be released.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.