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NCSS CRCT results fall below state

COVINGTON -- The average pass percentages for students in the Newton County School System on the spring Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests were below the average pass percentages of the state overall, according to results released by the Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday afternoon.

System-level results show 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.

Several of the averages -- including second-grade math and several areas in third and fourth grades -- have increased several points from last school year's results.

E-mails and a phone call seeking a comment regarding the results were not returned as of press time Thursday.

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.

Pass percentages in Newton County ranged from 49.7 percent in sixth-grade social studies to 94.5 percent in eighth-grade reading. These are compared to the state's range from 64 percent in sixth-grade social studies to 95 percent 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. 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 school's tests results to determine the school's final results, which will be 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 each 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 Web site, www.gadoe.org, where school-level and AYP results will be released later this summer.