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State CRCT results show student improvement

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Jeylin White

jwhite@news-daily.com

Georgia elementary and middle school students made gains in virtually every grade level and most subject areas on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), the State Department of Education has announced.

The DOE released state-level results of the benchmark test late last week, and said it anticipates the release of local school district results by the end of the month.

Among the highlights of state-level testing are: a 6-percentage-point increase in the number of students exceeding standards in science -- over last year -- among third-graders; an 8-point increase in students meeting or exceeding standards in sixth-grade social studies; and a 4-point increase in students meeting or exceeding standards in eighth-grade math.

"I am encouraged that the CRCT results show many of our students mastering a more rigorous curriculum," said State School Superintendent John Barge. "The credit for these tremendous results goes back to the local level, where they have raised the bar for all students."

The Criterion-Referenced Competency Test is important because the Georgia Department of Education uses the math and English/language arts results from the third-, fifth-, and eighth-grades, as the academic factor in determining whether schools make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Schools are required to make AYP under the federal government's No Child Left Behind Act.

Third-graders

Results provided by the Georgia DOE show that 91 percent of third-graders met or exceeded state standards on the reading section, which is up one percentage point from least year. Third-graders also improved in English/Language arts (89 percent, up one point); math (81 percent, up one point); and social studies (81 percent, up two points). In science, the youngsters scored at 80 percent, which is the same as last year.

Fourth-graders

Among fourth-graders, 88 percent met or exceeded state standards in reading, which is a 1-point decrease from least year. Fourth-graders also showed no improvement in English/Language arts, with an 88 percent mark that is the same as last year. In math, 81 percent met or exceeded standards, which is up 4 points. In science, there was no improvement, at 79 percent, the same as last year. And in social studies, 77 percent met or exceeded standards, up 3 points.

Fifth-graders

Ninety-one percent of fifth-graders met or exceeded state standards on the CRCT's reading section, which is up one percentage point from least year. Fifth-graders also improved in English/Language arts (93 percent, up one point); math (87 percent, up five points); but showed no improvement in science, staying at 77 percent. There was also no improvement in social studies (71 percent, the same as last year's results).

Sixth-graders

Ninety-four percent of sixth-graders met or exceeded standards on the reading section, which is up 3 percentage points from least year. Sixth-graders showed a slight decline in English/Language arts (91 percent, a one-point decrease), but a slight increase in math (76 percent, up one point), In science, 71 percent met or exceeded standards (up one point), and in social studies 72 percent met or exceeded standards, which is up by eight points.

Seventh-graders

Ninety-one percent of seventh-graders met or exceeded state standards on the reading section, which is up 2 percentage points from least year. Seventh-graders improved in English/Language arts (93 percent, up one point); math (89 percent, up four points); science (82 percent, up two points), and social studies (75 percent, up four points).

Eighth-graders

State data shows that 96 percent of eighth-graders met or exceeded standards on the CRCT's reading section, which is up one percentage points from last year. Eighth-graders also improved in English/Language arts (93 percent, up one point); math (78 percent, up four points); science (67 percent, up two points), and social studies (73 percent, up 3 points).

Superintendent Barge added: "While I would like to be talking about these results from a more national perspective, we can't use these results to show how our students are performing compared to students from across the country. With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, and the subsequent Common Assessments, that comparison will soon become possible."

Justin Pauly, communications specialist and State Board of Education liaison, said, "System-level results [for each district] will be available no later than June 22, and school-level results will be available no later than July 6."

-- Staff writer Curt Yeomans contributed to this article.