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Local school districts fare mostly well on CRCT scores
by Everett Catts
June 25, 2014 03:50 PM | 1255 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(UPDATED WEDNESDAY AT 6:10 P.M. WITH QUOTES FROM ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS' JOE BLESSING)

The Georgia Department of Education released its district-level 2014 Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) scores Tuesday, and the Atlanta, Cobb County and Fulton County school districts, which serve local students, had mostly good marks. The test is given to third- through eighth-graders.

In the Atlanta district, eighth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (95.3 percent), English language arts (94.1 percent) but not in math (70.0 percent), science (65.2 percent) or social studies (68.6 percent). Seventh-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (91.2 percent) and English language arts (90.2 percent) but not in math (77.4 percent), science (73.8 percent) and social studies (72.1 percent). Sixth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (94.6 percent) and English language arts (86.6 percent) but not in math (74.4 percent), science (58.9 percent) and social studies (68.8 percent).

Fifth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (90.8 percent) and English language arts (90.1 percent) but not in math (78.0 percent), science (68.9 percent) and social studies (69.9 percent). Fourth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (88.1 percent) and English language arts (80.0 percent) but not in math (69.9 percent), science (66.0 percent) and social studies (68.1 percent). Third-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (85.1 percent) but not in English language arts (78.4 percent), math (68.7 percent), science (62.6 percent) and social studies (74.0 percent).

Joe Blessing, the district’s director of testing and assessment, talked about the scores in an interview Tuesday.

“We had some mixed results: some areas of growth, some areas that remained the same and some that fell behind on [ages] 13 and 14. We did find that from the time our current superintendent [Erroll Davis] started [in 2011], of the 30 content areas and grade levels on the CRCT, 19 saw improvement. So we're seeing some significant change over a three-year period. Within this past year we’re seeing some areas of growth in the sixth and eighth grades, the transition years.”

Blessing said in the sixth and eighth grades, five of the district’s six areas improved their scores and eighth-graders in all areas had scores even or above last year. But improvement is needed, especially in math and science.

“All of our areas we have our curriculum team focusing on both the Common Core standards and that implementation,” Blessing said. “It affects math and science and social studies. We’re rolling out the Common Core standards but also working on those other areas with the state-mandated standards. We’re seeing the state and nation struggle in science and math. We’re finding the district struggling in the same areas. We’re implementing new support models for schools with standard pacing guides and scope and sequence in the upcoming year. We’re also offering interim assessments and other resources for the Georgia Milestones program.

“We have a new superintendent [Meria Carstarphen] coming on [July 7] and we’re awaiting her direction on how to support schools and student achievement.”

In the Cobb district, eighth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (98.4 percent), English language arts (96.6 percent), math (87.0 percent), science (83.5 percent) and social studies (85.3 percent). Seventh-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (96.4 percent), English language arts (95.5 percent), math (91.0 percent), science (87.6 percent) and social studies (87.9 percent). Sixth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (98.5 percent), English language arts (95.2 percent), math (88.5 percent), science (82.6 percent) and social studies (86.5 percent).

Fifth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (96.6 percent), English language arts (95.7 percent), math (90.7 percent), science (84.7 percent) and social studies (83.5 percent). Fourth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (95.5 percent), English language arts (91.9 percent), math (84.9 percent), science (84.7 percent) and social studies (85.3 percent). Third-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (94.2 percent), English language arts (91.5 percent), math (83.9 percent), science (80.5 percent) and social studies (87.8 percent).

In the Fulton district, eighth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (97.6 percent), English language arts (95.4 percent), math (83.3 percent) and social studies (80.5 percent), but was just below a B average in science (79.5 percent). Seventh-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (95.8 percent), English language arts (95.4 percent), math (88.9 percent), science (85.8 percent) and social studies (83.5 percent). Sixth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (97.6 percent), English language arts (93.2 percent), math (85.1 percent) and social studies (80.1 percent) but not in science (75.9 percent).

Fifth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (95.7 percent), English language arts (95.3 percent), math (90.7 percent), science (84.0 percent) and social studies (81.5 percent). Fourth-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (94.3 percent), English language arts (89.9 percent), math (84.9 percent), science (82.5 percent) and social studies (80.5 percent). Third-graders met or exceeded standards at a high level in reading (94.1 percent), English language arts (91.0 percent), math (84.3 percent), science (80.7 percent) and social studies (84.1 percent).

School-level scores are expected to be released no later than July 10.

Georgia students took the CRCT for the last time this year. Beginning next year, all students in grades three through eight will take the Georgia Milestones tests. The new testing system is one consistent program across grades three through 12, rather than a series of individual tests. It will include open-ended questions to better gauge student content mastery and, with some exceptions for special education students with specific testing accommodations, will be administered entirely online by the fifth year of implementation.

Information: www.gadoe.org
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