COVINGTON — Students in the Newton County School System only outperformed the state on one level on critical sections of state tests.
Pass averages for this year’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, or CRCT, show that 92.7 percent of fifth-grade students in Newton County passed the reading portion of the test. This is compared to the state’s overall pass average of 91.49 percent, according to results released by the Georgia Department of Education on Thursday morning.
Although students in grades three through eight may be tested in reading, math, science, social studies and English/language arts, state law requires that students in third, fifth and eighth grades meet or exceed expectations, or pass the test, on the CRCT in reading in order to be promoted to the next grade level. Fifth and eighth grade students also must pass the math section of the CRCT.
Also in Newton County, 90.3 percent of third-graders passed the reading test and 95.6 percent of eighth-graders passed reading. These are nearly in line with the state pass rate of 90.60 percent of third-graders in reading and 95.91 percent of eighth-graders in reading.
In math, 79.8 percent of Newton County fifth-graders passed the math test, while 70.2 percent of eighth-graders passed. Both of these are below the state’s averages of 83.68 fifth-graders passing the math test and 76.65 percent of eighth-graders passing.
The results are preliminary until final results are released later this year, when summer retest results will be included. 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.
NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews reported Thursday that NCSS improved 73 percent, posting higher results than last year in 22 out of 30 possibilities, according to preliminary results.
“We are on the right track,” he said in an e-mail. “Thanks to all of our dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff who make the above improvements possible. And, while we have areas wherein we still need to improve, I am confident that we will see the improvement.”
Mathews reported that NCSS showed gains of three percentage points or better in 13 instances.
The greatest gains were in fourth-grade reading with a 5.3 percentage point increase of pass rates over last year’s scores, fourth-grade English language arts with 5.5 points, fifth-grade reading with 6 points, fifth-grade social studies with 15.3 points, sixth-grade math with 5.1 points, seventh-grade reading with 5 points, seventh-grade science with 5.2 points, seventh-grade social studies with 9.7 points and eighth-grade science with 5 points.
Declines were shown in third-grade science by 3 points and eighth-grade math by 4.6 points.
More students across the state are exceeding standards on the 2012 CRCTs than last year, according to state-level results released earlier this month. Scores show that there has been improvement in the percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards on 20 of the 30 content-area tests overall in Georgia.
School-level results should be available no later than July 12, according to the GaDOE.
More information about the CRCT is available on the GaDOE Web site, www.gadoe.org.