Fewer Columbia County children will need retesting on a major standardized test this year despite a higher number of children taking the tests.
School system officials Tuesday presented the results of the Criterion Reference Competency Tests that were administered this spring, along with the number of students who failed the tests.
“In most cases, the results are very good,” Superintendent Charles Nagle told members of the Columbia County School Board.
In third-grade reading, 63 students failed the test, compared to 67 in 2011, even though 30 more took the test this year. Students must pass the test to be promoted, or otherwise must undergo remediation and retesting.
That remediation already has been taking place, with retesting scheduled for this week and Monday, Nagle said.
Those retests are being held during the school session for the second year in a row, a switch from the previous method of holding remediation and retesting during the summer – which added the expense of opening the schools and providing transportation to those pupils.
Now, Nagle said, “These students are being remediated by their classroom teacher instead of by an unknown tutor,” adding that scores have improved as a result.
In addition to the third-grade reading scores, fifth-grade reading improved with just 49 of 1,958 students failing, compared to 2011 when 77 of 1,734 failed. Eighth-grade reading improved with 24 failing out of 1,848 tested, compared to 26 failing in 2011 from 1,826 tested.
Eighth-grade math also improved, with 202 students failing out of 1,848 tested, compared to 264 of 1,826 last year.
The only numerical increase in students failing is in the fifth-grade math test, where 155 of 1,958 failed, compared to 136 from 1,734 tested in 2011.
Students who fail the tests after additional attempts can be held back a grade.