More than half of Columbia County pupils retested on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests passed the exam, according to results presented at a school board meeting Tuesday.
Pupils in third, fifth and eighth grade who initially failed the CRCT were given a second chance to pass the test in May.
In third-grade reading, 32 of the 62 pupils retested passed, a 14 percentage point increase from 2011 retests. In reading, 22 of 47 fifth-graders passed, a seven percentage point increase from 2011. The number of eighth-graders who passed, 13 of 25, dropped nine percentage points from last year.
In math, the percentage of fifth-graders who passed the retest rose six points, while eight-graders showed a three percentage point increase.
Eighty-one of the 149 fifth-graders and 101 of the 194 eighth-graders passed the retest.
School Superintendent Charles Nagle commended teachers for doing a “tremendous job” despite larger class sizes and funding cuts.
The percentage of pupils passing the initial CRCT and the retest slightly increased or remained steady when compared to 2011, ranging from 94 percent to 99 percent.
“These are quite impressive,” school board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said.
The CRCT tests elementary- and middle school pupils on reading, English and language arts, math, science and social studies. Georgia law requires third-, fifth- and eighth-graders to pass the reading portion of the exam to advance to the next grade level. Fifth- and eighth-graders must also pass the math section to advance.
CRCT scores will be used as an indicator for the state’s new College and Career Readiness Performance Index. In previous years, the scores, coupled with attendance rates, had determined annual yearly progress for elementary and middle schools.