By Curt Yeomans
Ten schools in Clayton County earned a combined 13 of State School Superintendent Kathy Cox's Distinguished Achievement Awards, the Georgia Department of Education announced on Tuesday.
In all, Cox gave out 730 awards across 73 categories. The honors recognize schools that posted the highest percentages of students passing state standardized tests, as well as schools that showed the most improvement this past spring, from their 2008 tests scores.
The top 10 schools in each category receive awards. This is the second year Cox has given out the awards.
Two Clayton County schools, Tara Elementary School and Rex Mill Middle School, received "distinguished achievement" status in multiple categories.
"These awards are just a small way of saying 'thank you' for the hard work put in by our teachers, students and school communities," Cox said in a written statement.
In addition to Tara Elementary and Rex Mill Middle, other Clayton schools receiving Distinguished Achievement Awards include: East Clayton Elementary School; Hawthorne Elementary School; Haynie Elementary School; Hendrix Drive Elementary School; McGarrah Elementary School; Forest Park Middle School; North Clayton Middle School, and North Clayton High School, according to a Georgia Department of Education press release.
Clayton County school officials could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
The majority of the categories (47 of them) are for the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs), because there are 10 awards given out for each section of the test, for each grade level. There also are categories for the elementary, middle and high school levels of the Georgia Writing Test; all sections of the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT), and six of the state's high school End-Of-Course Tests (EOCTs).
Awards were not given out for performance on the Algebra I and Geometry EOCTs, and the fourth-grade Social Studies CRCT section, because new curriculums were rolled out last year in those sections, making it difficult to compare those test results with scores from 2008, according to the education department's press release.
Last year, six Clayton County schools earned a combined 13 awards in the recognition program's inaugural year.
According to Georgia Department of Education, here is how Clayton County schools faired in the distribution of Cox's Distinguished Achievement Awards:
· East Clayton Elementary School received an award for improvement on the fourth-grade math section of the CRCTs.
· Hawthorne Elementary School received an award for improvement on the fifth-grade science section of the CRCTs.
· Haynie Elementary School received an award for improvement on the second-grade English/Language Arts section of the CRCTs.
· Hendrix Drive Elementary School received an award for improvement on the third-grade reading section of the CRCTs.
· McGarrah Elementary School received an award for improvement on the fourth-grade math section of the CRCTs.
· Tara Elementary School received awards for improvement on the second-grade English/Language Arts and math sections of the CRCTs.
· Forest Park Middle School received an award for improvement on the eighth-grade Georgia Writing Test.
· North Clayton Middle School received an award for improvement on the seventh-grade science section of the CRCTs.
· Rex Mill Middle School received awards for improvement on the seventh-grade reading and science, and eighth-grade science sections of the CRCTs.
· North Clayton High School received an award for improvement on the math section of the GHSGT.