Columbia County eighth-graders improve on CRCT writing test

Columbia County’s eighth-graders showed a 1 percentage point improvement for the number of pupils passing the eighth-grade writing assessment.

The school board released the results of the 2012 writing assessment, which was administered in January, during a Tuesday meeting. Those results show that 89 percent of eighth-graders passed, compared to 88 percent in 2011 and 2010.

The assessment annually tests eighth-graders on ideas, organization, style and conventions in either persuasive or expository essays.

For the past three years, 81 percent of those pupils met the standards required of exam raters. In 2010 and 2011, 7 percent exceeded standards. That improved to 8 percent this year.

The most significant improvement was made at Stallings Island Middle School. Though just 72 percent of eighth-graders met standards, 27 percent exceeded them , which is a 13 percentage point increase over last year. Just 1 percent of the school’s eighth-graders failed the test.

All of Columbia County’s middle schools, except Grovetown Middle, posted pass rates above 83 percent. Four middle schools exceeded 90 percent pass rates. Grovetown’s pass rate was 79 percent.

Sharon Carson, the school system’s director of middle school learning, said the writing assessment provides a gauge officials use to determine the success of the writing curriculum at schools. It never has played a role in determining a school’s adequate yearly progress.

However, once Georgia switches to the College and Career Ready Performance Index to measure school success in the next three to four years, the assessment will play a factor.

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