CRCT scores look better across state

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- School systems across Georgia are hoping local results from the annual CRCT are in line with figures released at the state level last week.

The Georgia Department of Education reported Thursday that student scores overall in Georgia improved in almost every grade and subject area on the spring Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

Results showed a one-year improvement on 23 of the 30 content-area tests. There was no one-year change on five tests and a decrease on two tests, in grade four reading and grade six English/language arts, state officials said.

"I am encouraged that the CRCT results show many more of our students mastering a more rigorous curriculum," said state School Superintendent John Barge in a press release. "The credit for these tremendous results goes back to the local level, where they have raised the bar for all students."

Highlights include:

* Reading, grade five, in which 91 percent of students passed the reading CRCT, a one-year increase of 10 points in the number of students exceeding the standard. Students who meet or exceed standards pass the test.

* Reading, grade eight, in which 96 percent of students passed the reading CRCT, an increase of seven points since Georgia Performance Standards implementation in 2006.

* Mathematics, grade seven, where the pass rate was 89 percent, an increase of four points in one year and 15 points since GPS implementation in 2007.

* Mathematics, grade eight, where the pass rate was 78 percent, an increase of four points in one year and 16 points since GPS implementation in 2008.

* Science, grade three, in which the percentage of students exceeding the standard increased six points in one year.

* Social studies, grade six, where the pass rate was 72 percent, an increase of eight points in one year.

"While I would like to be talking about these results from a more national perspective, we can't use these results to show how our students are performing compared to students from across the country," Barge said. "With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the subsequent Common Assessments, that comparison will soon become possible."

Although students in grades one through eight may be tested in reading, math, science, social studies and English/language arts, state law requires students in third, fifth and eighth grade meet or exceed standards 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.

Students have the opportunity for retests 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.

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

System-level results are expected to be available no later than June 22, and school-level results should be available no later than July 6, according to the GaDOE. Schools already have received individual student reports and may have calculated some preliminary numbers, GaDOE officials said.

More information about the CRCT is available on the GaDOE website, www.gadoe.org.