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Students score below CRCT state averages

COVINGTON - According to results from the state Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests released from the Georgia Department of Education this week, the average pass percentages in the Newton County School System were below state pass averages.

System-level results show that the average percentage of first- through eighth-grade students in NCSS to meet or exceed standards, or pass the test, were below state pass averages in all 34 areas that the GaDOE reported this year.

Officials at NCSS were unavailable for comment Friday, as its offices are closed on Fridays during the summer.

System-level pass averages only hit 90 percent in eighth-grade reading and English sections with 91.9 and 90 percent respectively, and the lowest pass percentages were found in eighth-grade science with 59.8 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards, sixth-grade science with 58.7 percent and eighth-grade social studies with 55.7 percent. Other pass percentages were found between 61.1 and 88.5 percent.

State pass percentages ranged between 62.6 in eighth-grade social studies to 92.7 in eighth-grade reading, making NCSS have pass averages between .8 and 10.1 percent below the state pass averages in the respective sections.

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. Those who do not pass those sections of the test have an opportunity to take a class over the summer and attempt to pass the test again; those results then will be added to the school's tests results to determine the school's final results.

CRCT data, as well as other factors like attendance, will be collected to determine a school's Adequate Yearly Progress, as required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Schools and school systems in Georgia that don't meet AYP may be placed on the state's Needs Improvement list, depending on their past performance.

Although NCSS scored below the state this year, pass percentages increased in 25 of the 34 areas by between .3 percent in fifth-grade reading and 10.8 percent in seventh-grade science, compared to data released this time last year. Second-grade math had the same percentage - 79 percent of students - pass this year, the same as last year.

Eight areas showed a decrease in its pass percentages from this year to last year - between .3 percent in sixth-grade science and 24.7 percent in fourth-grade social studies; fifth-grade social studies also saw a decrease of 23.9 percent, and third-grade social studies saw a decrease of 16.3 percent. This is the first year that social studies in Georgia was aligned to the new Georgia Performance Standards curriculum.

The GaDOE is expected to release school-level results from the CRCT no later that July 7, according to a press release from the GaDOE.

More information about the Georgia CRCT, including state results and results from other systems across the state, is available by visiting www.gadoe.org, where school-level results also will be released.

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