Schools get CRCT results

COVINGTON -- School-level scores from the spring CRCT released Thursday afternoon show that many grade levels and schools performed at or below the state averages in several subject areas, while some performed above state averages.

System-level results released by the Georgia Department of Education in late June showed that the averages of first- through eighth-grade students in NCSS to meet or exceed standards, or pass the test, were below state pass averages in all except one of 36 areas of the test; the one area -- eighth-grade English -- was the same pass rate as the state average.

"Our most immediate goal is to continue to improve on these results and narrow the gap between the district and the state average," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews in a press release Friday. "Ultimately, our goal is to surpass the state average and have every student meet or exceed standards on every state assessment."

Last year's results showed testing areas with pass averages ranging from the low 40s to the high 90s, not including the Charter Academy.

This year, many grade levels in Newton County's 21 schools that house students in first through eighth grades who take the test averaged in the pass percentage range in the 80s and 90s. Students in first through eighth grades were tested in reading, English and math; students in third through eighth grades also tested in science and social studies.

Several schools showed high passage rates in some subject areas.

Several posted pass percentages of 97 percent -- Palmer Stone Elementary second-grade reading, Heard-Mixon fifth-grade reading, Clements Theme eighth-grade reading, Heard-Mixon fifth-grade English language arts and Clements seventh-grade English language arts.

Others saw pass rates of 98 percent -- Oak Hill and Clements fifth-grade English language arts and Clements fourth-grade science.

Fairview Theme third-grade reading boasted 100 percent, the highest pass rate in the system.

Other schools showed pass rates below 55 percent in some subject areas.

Challenge Charter Academy had several low pass rates -- seventh-grade reading and English language arts with only 55 percent passing, sixth-grade English language arts with 46.7 percent, seventh-grade math with 35 percent, eighth-grade math with 26 percent, sixth-grade science with 40 percent, seventh-grade science with 45 percent, eighth-grade science with 27 percent, sixth-grade social studies with 13 percent and seventh-grade social studies with 25 percent.

Some other areas also had low pass rates -- fifth-grade English at Porterdale with 53 percent, eighth-grade science at Liberty with 50 percent, third-grade social studies at Live Oak with 54 percent, fifth-grade social studies at Middle Ridge with 45 percent, fifth-grade social studies at West Newton with 48 percent, fifth-grade social studies at Livingston with 50 percent, sixth-grade social studies at Liberty with 43 percent, sixth-grade social studies at Cousins with 50 percent, eighth-grade social studies at Veterans with 55 percent and eighth-grade social studies at Liberty with 46.4 percent.

"We have our work cut out for us, but given the improvement shown this year, I believe our teachers and our students are up to the challenge and will narrow the gap," Mathews said, adding that district administrators would review all of the test data to determine strengths and weaknesses and develop an appropriate course of action for improvement.

NCSS students posted gains on the pass percentage rate on every test in every grade level but three, and of the remaining three -- seventh-grade reading, and first- and second-grade English language arts -- students equaled their 2009 pass percentage, according to the release. Retest data is not included in results, as they are preliminary scores.

"I am very pleased to see that the vast majority of grades showed improvement over their 2009 results," Mathews said. "We are definitely heading in the right direction, but as the data indicate, there is room -- and need -- for improvement."

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 did not pass those sections of the test have had an opportunity over the summer to attempt to pass the test again; those results then will be added to the schools' test results to determine the schools' final results, released later this year.

CRCT data, as well as other factors like attendance, other testing like the Georgia High School Graduation Tests and test participation, will be collected to determine a school and school system'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.

Those results typically are released later in the summer.

More information about the CRCT and AYP is available on the GaDOE website, www.gadoe.org, where AYP results will be released later this summer. Specific school-level scores for each grade and tesing area also are available on the site.