By Johnny Jackson
The Henry County School System experienced mild gains overall on Georgia's 2011 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT), according to results released this week by the State Department of Education. The CRCT is an assessment based on the Georgia Performance Standards curriculum.
Henry school officials highlighted student performances on the assessment in reading, English/language arts, and msath, where performance generally improved across grade levels.
"We are proud of our students and teachers, and appreciate the high levels of parent and community support that contributes positively to student and school performance," said Tony Pickett, Henry's executive assistant to the Office of the Superintendent.
State Department of Education Communications Director Matt Cardoza said the spring-time assessment is used to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the curriculum over five content areas. He said the results of the exam aid in determining whether students in grades three, five, and eight are promoted to the next grade level.
Henry's test-takers, in the third- through eighth-grades, were on par this year with performances on the 2010 CRCT. The percentage of students passing the CRCT increased in most content areas, particularly in English/language arts, which saw the most consistent gains among pupils in all six grades.
Likewise, students in Henry's promotional grades demonstrated similar gains, based on the state's initial school-level reporting of the 2011 CRCT, compared to complete data from the 2010 CRCT.
Data from the state's department of education verified those similarities as Henry's eighth-graders passed the CRCT last year at a rate of 98 percent in reading, 94 percent in English/language arts, 83 percent in math, 71 percent in social studies, and 65 percent in science. This year's class of eighth-graders passed the exam at a rate of 98.3 percent in reading, 95.6 percent in English/language arts, 80.6 percent in math, 79.2 percent in social studies, and 69.3 percent in science.
The state CRCT reports revealed that fifth-graders in Henry passed the 2010 CRCT at a rate of 96 percent in reading, 94 percent in English/language arts, 89 percent in math, 79 percent in social studies, and 81 percent in science. The school system's fifth-graders passed the 2011 CRCT at a rate of 94.4 percent in reading, 95.1 percent in English/language arts, 88.1 percent in math, 76.1 percent in social studies, and 79.8 percent in science.
The results showed that third-graders, in 2010, passed at a rate of 96 percent in reading, 89 percent in English/language arts, 79 percent in math, 85 percent in social studies, and 83 percent in science. This year, Henry third-graders passed at a rate of 95.2 percent in reading, 92.8 percent in English/language arts, 84.6 percent in math, 87.5 percent in social studies, and 84.6 percent in science.
The school system's third-graders performed well overall on this year's CRCT reading exam -- some third-grade classes excelled, while others struggled.
East Lake Elementary School saw 100 percent of its third-graders pass the exam, with 58.6 percent of the class exceeding state standards this year, according to state data.
East Lake also had 100 percent of its third-graders to pass the CRCT English/language arts exam, the top performance among schools in the district. That compares to a system-wide pass rate of 92.8 percent.
Other top performers included Woodland Elementary School, which had 95.7 percent of its third-grade class meet, or exceed, state standards on the math portion of the CRCT. All but a few of Woodland's third-graders (96.8 percent) passed the science section of the CRCT this year, while 97.9 percent of the class passed in social studies.
The state's results show Henry's system-wide pass rate in math was 84.6 percent. It was 84.6 percent in science, and 87.5 percent in social studies.
School-by-school results revealed that the third-grade class at Hampton Elementary School saw the poorest performance among third-graders in the school system. More than a third of the school's third-graders failed the CRCT in math (36.8 percent), science (37.1 percent), and social studies (35.7 percent).
Information from state CRCT results provided the number of students not meeting state standards in social studies at Hampton (35.7 percent) was more than double that of Walnut Creek Elementary School, a school with a similar third-grade class size and demographics. About 87.1 percent of third-graders at Walnut Creek passed in social studies, while 12.9 percent did not.
Students in promotional grades (three, five and eight) who did not pass the reading and math portions of the CRCT during its administration this past spring are offered an opportunity to re-test during the summer, according to Matt Cardoza, of the state department of education. He said the CRCT Re-test results are expected later this month and will offer a more complete picture of overall performance by students on the CRCT.
To find system-level and school-by-school CRCT results from this past spring 2011, visit the state's department of education web site at www.doe.k12.ga.us.