MUSCOGEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Scores for the first round of system grade-level Criterion Reference Competency Tests (CRCT) show the Muscogee County School District is closing the academic achievement gap with the state. The CRCT is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge in the state mandated content standards (Reading, English/Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Science and Social Studies) in grades 3 – 8. Due to state budget constraints, the CRCT was not administered in grades 1 – 2.
The test results are used to analyze strengths and areas that need improvement for the instruction of the state standards and to assess the quality of education in Georgia. The MCSD system overview of grades 3 - 8, indicate students continue to make overall gains.
*67% (4 of 6) of the represented grade levels increased or maintained the percent of students passing the CRCT Reading tests as compared to 2013.
(3 of 6) of represented grade levels increased or remained the same in the percent of students passing the CRCT ELA test as compared to 2013.
*50% (3 of 6) of the represented grade levels increased in the percent of students passing the CRCT Math test as compared to 2013.
*50% (3 of 6) of the represented grade levels increased in the percent of students passing the CRCT Science test as compared to 2013.
*83% (5 of 6) of the schools increased or remained the same in the percent of students passing the CRCT Social Studies test compared to 2013.
Comparing 2014 to 2013 CRCT data, math in grades 3 - 5 show an average increase of 5.3 percentage points and an overall average of 2.2 percentage points gain in grades 3 - 8. Reading, in grades 3 – 5, shows an average increase of 2.0 percentage points.
Elementary schools show pass rates increased in 66.7% of content areas. Each gain closed the gap with the state.
In all three grade levels at the elementary level, the number of students designated as Exceeding Expectations in math matched or outpaced the state, which narrows the achievement gap.
Director of Elementary Education, Terry Baker says, "We believe the new math maps helped to narrow the content focus and the common assessments informed our instructional practices, which led to this improvement." Comparing 2014 to 2013 CRCT data, grades 6 - 8 show an average increase of < 1.0 percentage points in reading. In math, grades 6 - 8 show an overall average decrease of 1.0 percentage points, which mirrors the drops seen in 7th and 8th grade statewide.
In addition, when comparing 2014 performance to the 2013 results, the percent of 6 – 8 grade students exceeding the standard increased in 13 of the 15 content area assessments.
"Based on the middle school Exceeding Expectations results, we are excited to see that more middle grade students are exceeding the minimum standard set by the state," said Director of Secondary Education, Keith Seifert. "We believe the development of the district unit assessments and the frequent analysis of those results were instrumental in making these improvements."
"I would like to thank our teachers and administrators for their hard work, which led to the overall improvement," said David Lewis, Superintendent of Education. "While we are pleased with the CRCT improvement, I recognize there is significant work yet to be done as we continue implementation of new initiatives and organizational structures, which align to college and career readiness standards and the new, more rigorous Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMS) next school year."