Elementary and middle school pupils in Richmond and Columbia counties continue to perform well in language arts, but Richmond County students fall short in math and science, according to Georgia Department of Education test results.
Students in most grade levels in both counties either increased their scores in reading and language arts or saw minor drops on the 2014 Criterion Referenced Competency Tests.
North Columbia Elementary School’s third-grade class met or exceeded reading standards, maintaining its perfect score from 2013. The fourth-grade class at Richmond County’s C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School had a 100 percent meet or exceed pass rate in both Reading and English Language Arts testing, maintaining their score from last year. Third-graders at Richmond County’s Warren Road Elementary School increased the number of those meeting or exceeding ELA testing standards by nearly half a percentage point, rising from 87.9 to 88.3.
Test results, however, show that many Richmond County students still lag in math and science. For instance, only 30.8 percent of third graders at Wilkinson Gardens Elementary School met or exceeded mathematics standards this year, a drop from 2013’s 47.7 percent.
Richmond County Superintendent Frank Roberson said “shifting math education standards” were partly to blame for the score discrepancy, and that effective “instructional patterns” for teachers would be established to help raise scores.
“There’s not been as much variability in standards for reading and ELA instruction as there have been for math instruction over the past few years. It’s made a difficult
situation for teachers here,” Roberson said. “We’ve told the state that it’s not really fair to have teachers constantly switch the
mathematical concepts they are supposed to instruct students year after year.”
The CRCT exams are meant to test how well first- through eighth- grade students “acquire the skills and knowledge described in the state mandated content standards in reading, English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies,” according to the Georgia Department of Education Web site. Students must meet or exceed state standards on the exam before moving to the next grade.
This will be the last year Georgia students will undergo CRCT testing. The exam will be replaced by the Georgia Milestones testing system next year. According to a news release from the GDOE, Georgia Milestones will be more in line with Georgia’s existing Common Core standards, and will be more rigorous in order to “better prepare” students for college and future careers.