COLUMBUS, GA- The first round of system-level Criterion Reference Competency Tests (CRCT) scores is in. Following a review of scores district-wide in grades 1- 8, reading is the subject in which students made the greatest gain and it is clear that the district must continue to focus on making significant improvements in math.
At least 33% of the schools increased or remained the same in the percent of students passing the reading tests as compared to 2009.
At least 43% of schools increased or remained the same in the percent of students passing the ELA test as compared to 2009.
At least 33% of the schools in grades 2 – 8 increased or remained the same in the percent of students passing the math test as compared to 2009.
At least 50% of the schools increased or remained the same in the percent of students passing the science test as compared to 2009.
The scores in grades 6 and 7 were invalidated in 2009 so there is not a comparison between 2009 and 2010.
In grades 3, 4, 5, and 8 at least 49% of the schools increased or remained the same in the percent of students passing the social studies test compared to 2009.
The test scores do not include retest scores, which the district expects by the end of August.
Superintendent, Dr. Susan Andrews says, "It is evident from the scores that there is still much work to be done. Our focus is to continue improving in all content areas, and specifically in areas like math where we missed the marked. We can do it by focusing on teaching the standards, assessing the standards, reviewing the standards, and providing our teachers with the support they need."
In 2008, the State Department of Education implemented changes to the math curriculum.
"The actual content of math has changed," said Math and Science Instructional Specialist, Suzanne Evans. "The curriculum is more rigorous and students are taught more rigorous standards and concepts at an earlier age. For example, math standards and concepts that were once taught in high school are now taught in middle school. In addition, courses and standards that were once taught in middle school are now taught in elementary classes."
"We're not seeing the gains desired, so it is important to focus on key training and professional development strategies to assist our teachers in the classroom to help our students meet and exceed expectations," said Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Peggy Connell.
Teachers are studying the content in the curriculum, and collaborating to develop effective, new instructional plans and activities that apply to the real world and also engage the students in the learning process. Math teachers are already working on lesson plans and pacing guides this summer to ensure that standards are taught prior to the test.
"We are pleased to see that middle schools made large gains such as 8th grade students in reading and social studies, and 7th grade students in English Language Arts and science," added Andrews.
Students in grades 1- 8 take the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) in April. The CRCT is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and the Quality Core Curriculum (QCC). The assessments yield information on academic achievement at the student, class, school, system, and state levels. The information is then used to determine individual strengths and weaknesses as related to the instruction of GPS/QCC, and to gauge the quality of education throughout Georgia.