Columbia County schools say latest CRCT results improve

For students struggling with a tougher state math curriculum in Columbia County, the second year was the charm.


School officials released the system’s results Friday afternoon for the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests for 2009, and are hailing a jump in improvement for both fifth- and eighth-grade math scores in the second year of new Georgia math standards.

“The teachers have worked very hard this year, and the results show that,” said Lisa Soloff, the school system’s director of Title I and school improvement.

Students in third, fifth and eighth grades must pass the CRCT to advance to the next grade. According to the system’s results, the percentage of students passing the fifth-grade math CRCT rose from 82 percent last year to 88 percent this year. The percentage of eighth-graders passing the math CRCT rose from 73 percent to 81 percent.

“We’re very pleased with the results,” Dr. Soloff said. “We pretty much either held it where we were last year or we’ve come up a percentage.”

The passing percentage on eighth-grade reading also improved by a percentage point, from 95 to 96. But the passing percentage on the fifth-grade reading test fell by one percentage point, from 94 to 93, while the passing percentage on the third-grade reading test remained unchanged at 95 percent.

In hard numbers, the results mean 87 Columbia County third-graders, 115 fifth-graders and 68 eighth-graders failed the reading CRCT, while 205 fifth graders and 317 eighth-graders failed the math portion of the test.

Some of those fifth- and eighth-grade students failed both portions, Dr. Soloff said.

School officials have contacted the parents of the students who failed to let them know that the three-week CRCT summer school remediation begins June 1 for elementary pupils and June 2 for middle-schoolers. After the summer class the students will be able to retake the test, Dr. Soloff said.

Those who pass will be promoted to the next grade, she said, while those who fail can either repeat the grade or their parents may file an appeal for a placement hearing.

At that point, “We want to look at all of the student’s success for the year, not just the one piece of information from a test” before deciding whether the child should repeat the grade, Dr. Soloff said.

Only a “small percentage” of students who failed the CRCT on their retest actually repeated their grade last year, Dr. Soloff said, adding that she did not immediately have the exact number.

Richmond County results were not revealed today. A school official said they will be made public next week.



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