COVINGTON -- School-level scores from the spring CRCT show that many grade levels and schools in the Newton County School System are below state averages in most areas.
The Georgia Department of Education released school-level results from the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests on Wednesday.
Earlier this summer, the GaDOE released state and system-level scores, which showed that only third-grade Newton County students on average scored above the state level on the reading portion of the test. All other students on average in grades three through eight scored below state averages in reading, English language arts, math, science and social studies.
According to school-level results, pass percentages spanned from 8 percent to 100 percent -- 100 percent of fifth-grade students at Mansfield Elementary School passed the English language arts portion of the test, while only 8 percent of Challenge Charter School's sixth-graders passed the science portion. Additionally, only 9 percent of Challenge Charter School's eighth-graders passed the math portion.
Although Challenge Charter Academy is an independent charter school governed by a separate board of directors, the GaDOE includes the school's scores in the school system's averages, according to NCSS.
Fairview Theme School had pass percentages for third through fifth grades in each subject area higher than state pass averages. The same holds true for Mansfield and Heard Mixon elementary schools' third grades, as well as East Newton, Palmer Stone, Heard Mixon and Porterdale elementary schools' fourth grades and Oak Hill's fifth grade.
None of the pass percentages in any subject area were above state pass averages at Live Oak Elementary School, Challenge Charter Academy and Veterans Memorial and Clements middle schools in each grade area tested. The same is true for third grade at Middle Ridge, West Newton, Livingston and Porterdale elementary schools; fourth grade at South Salem, West Newton and Ficquett elementary schools; fifth grade at Middle Ridge Elementary; sixth grade at Liberty Middle; and seventh grade at Cousins and Indian Creek middle schools.
"While we are pleased to show a 73 percent improvement over the prior year in grades three through eight, we still have much work to do in order to reach and surpass state performance," said Gary Mathews, superintendent of NCSS in a press release Wednesday. "To do so will require the best efforts and smart work of each and every classroom teacher as there is no substitute for quality instruction."
Although students in grades one through eight across the state may be tested in reading, math, science, social studies and English/language arts, state law requires students in third, fifth and eighth grades meet or exceed standards, or pass the test, on the CRCT in reading in order to be promoted. Fifth and eighth grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in mathematics.
This year, the state did not fund first- and second-grade CRCTs across the state, but some systems across the state gave students mock exams in order to prepare them for the next years' tests.
Students have the opportunity to retest over the summer and may be promoted to the next grade level after not passing required portions of the CRCT if school-level administration and teachers agree to it in some instances. Final results of the CRCT will be released later this year after retest results are in.
The test also counts towards a school's and school systems' Adequate Yearly Progress, which determines if it is on the state's Needs Improvement list under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
More information about the CRCT and AYP is available on the GaDOE Web site, www.gadoe.org.