COVINGTON – High-stakes test scores released last week show that students in Newton County performed well on reading, but continue to struggle with math.
The state Department of Education recently released individual school and grade-level Criterion-Referenced Competency Test — or CRCT — scores. According to the DOE, all students in grade three must pass the reading portion of the exam to move on to the next grade, while fifth- and eighth-grade students must meet reading and math CRCT standards to do so.
Newton schools did well for the most part on the required third- and fifth-grade content areas. Mansfield Elementary had 100 percent of its fifth-grade students meet reading standards and all third-graders at the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett met reading standards.
The Theme School also excelled in fifth-grade CRCT math, being the NCSS school with the highest number of students to meet standards in that content area with 97.2 percent.
At the same time, scores at some of the county’s other schools lagged. At Fairview Elementary, 88.1 percent of third-graders met the CRCT reading standards, compared to the state average of 92 percent. Middle Ridge Elementary had the lowest number of fifth-grade students passing at 87.3 percent. The statewide CRCT fifth-grade reading average for meeting the standards was 95 percent.
Eighth-graders at the Theme School also excelled at the reading section with 100 percent meeting standards. The state average is 97 percent. While Clements Middle School eighth-graders had the lowest percentage of students passing the reading section, the school still logged 91.6 percent of its students meeting the standards.
Math continues to be a hurdle for many Newton County schools. Porterdale Elementary had the lowest score of meeting fifth-grade math standards with 58.2 percent passing, compared to the state average of 88 percent. Only 71.7 of Clements Middle School eighth-graders met the CRCT’s math standards, which also were lower statewide with 82 percent being the average for meeting math standards.
The CRCT scores subject areas out of a score of 850, which is considered to be exceeding the state’s standards. A score of 800-849 is considered to be meeting the standards. A statewide test for grades three through eight, the CRCT is a standardized exam that tests students in the areas of reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies. It is aligned with Georgia Common Core, and has been administered only in this state.
However, this past school year was the last one in which the CRCT will be administered. Georgia Milestones, which will test high school grades in addition to third- through eighth-grade students, will replace the CRCT in the upcoming school year, and has been described by the state DOE as a consistent program aligned with Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and Georgia Performance Standards. Georgia Milestones will test students on the same areas as the CRCT, except for reading.