Richmond County school leaders this week have changed a couple of their procedures for administering this year's CRCT in April.
The changes come following a state-initiated investigation of questionable CRCT erasures that occurred last spring at Lamar Elementary and W.S. Hornsby Elementary.
Last year's tests from Lamar and Hornsby were among those that appeared to have an unusual number of wrong answers erased and the correct ones supplied. The schools were among 370 statewide that showed a high number of erasures, and Richmond County was among more than a dozen school districts expected to launch investigations, according to a February report released by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.
One change decided on this week will be to no longer allow teachers at any schools to go behind students and darken a child's bubbled answers that were too light. That had been the case in the past to help a bubble reader machine pick up the student's answer, but now tests will be untouched and sent straight to the state.
"We're going to send the tests in as they are," school system spokesman Louis Svehla said today.
As for the two Richmond schools whose scores last year are being investigated, they now have a different name this year - Lamar-Milledge and Hornsby K-8 - and have been combined with other schools or expanded since the tests were taken. Lamar-Milledge also has a different principal this year from when it was just Lamar, and when Lamar-Milledge merged this school year many of the former Lamar students were rezoned to another school and mostly Milledge students began attending Lamar-Milledge.
Nonetheless, there will be a change this year in administering the CRCT at the two schools in that a class's regular teacher there will no longer be allowed to administer their CRCT, having a different instructor do so.
That new procedure is state mandated and won't apply to any other schools this year, Svehla said. As for the investigation, Svehla said the school system is currently seeking a third party that it will pay to conduct it. No cost has been determined, but he said a district in Atlanta has already had to doll out more than $100,000 for their investigation