CRCT scores show more 8th graders exceeding standards statewide - WRBL

CRCT scores show more 8th graders exceeding standards statewide

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Muscogee County school students are testing at- or above-2013 numbers but still trail behind the state's overall passing rate. Muscogee County school students are testing at- or above-2013 numbers but still trail behind the state's overall passing rate.
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The percentage of Georgia’s 8th graders exceeding standards in all content-area Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, commonly known as the CRCT, increased this year, including an eight percentage point increase in reading, according to the state education department. Grade 8 students showed a two percentage point increase in English language arts, a three percentage point increase in mathematics, a three percentage point increase in science, and a two percentage point increase in social studies.

“Reading is truly foundational to learning, so those increases in students exceeding standards are encouraging to see,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “As we transition to tests that more accurately reflect our standards – and the emphasis those standards place on critical thinking and comprehension – students’ reading abilities will help them to excel.”

Students in Georgia’s elementary and middle schools secured gains, as measured by the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the standards, on 14 of 30 content-area CRCTs taken this year. Eight areas showed no change, while another eight areas showed decreases. Decreases ranged from one to two percentage points while increases ranged from one to four percentage points. No decreases were experienced on Reading tests: Grades 4, 5 and 6 saw gains, while grades 3, 7 and 8 stayed the same.

In Muscogee County, 67% of students grades three through eight either performed at above- or the-same-as the 2013 performance levels on the reading portion of the test. On the English, math and science portions of the test, 50% of students met or surpassed 2013 performance levels. Another 83% met or exceeded 2013 performance standards on the social studies portion. Overall, the county still trails behind the state's average for passing rates.

Muscogee County School District Superintendent David Lewis says there is a lot riding on test scores for the students - but that they are not the only ones feeling the pressure.

"Within the last several years the high stakes testing environment has moved to faculty and staff as well," Lewis told WRBL News 3 during an examination of standard testing in May. "From the standpoint that they inform human capital decisions, not only in terms of retention and promotion within the system, but also can be considered for, over time with the state moving toward differentiated pay, they can also play a role in that as well."

Students took the CRCT for the last time this year. Beginning next year, all students in grades 3-8 will take the Georgia Milestones test. The new testing system is one consistent program across grades 3-12, rather than a series of individual tests. It will include open-ended questions to better gauge students’ content mastery and, with some exceptions for special education students with specific testing accommodations, will be administered entirely online by the fifth year of implementation.

Georgia Milestones will be aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards in English language arts and mathematics and Georgia Performance Standards in science and social studies. This testing system will require more from students than the CRCT and EOCT it replaces, in order to better prepare students for college and career and to provide a more realistic picture of academic progress.

These increased expectations for learning may mean initially lower scores than previous years’ CRCT or EOCT scores, but that is to be expected and should bring Georgia’s tests in line with other indicators of how our students are performing.

View all of the 2014 testing result data:
2014 CRCT state results:

3rd Grade Results:
Excel | PDF
4th Grade Results: Excel | PDF
5th Grade Results: Excel | PDF
6th Grade Results: Excel | PDF
7th Grade Results: Excel | PDF
8th Grade Results: Excel | PDF?
2014 CRCT district results:
3rd Grade Results: Excel
4th Grade Results: Excel
5th Grade Results: Excel
6th Grade Results: Excel
7th Grade Results: Excel
8th Grade Results: Excel

2014 CRCT school results:
3rd Grade Results: Excel
4th Grade Results: Excel
5th Grade Results: Excel
6th Grade Results: Excel
7th Grade Results: Excel
8th Grade Results: Excel

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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