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Tests show gains made by pupils in Richmond, Columbia counties

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Pupils in Richmond and Columbia counties made improvements in the majority of content areas on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests this year compared with 2011, according to district-level results released by the state Thursday. Richmond County showed more year-over-year gains than its neighbor, but Columbia County pupils continue to outperform their Richmond County counterparts in every grade and subject overall.

The CRCT tests pupils in grades three through eight in reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies and determines how well students grasp required skills.

Richmond County pupils improved in every area except third-grade science and social studies; fifth-grade math; sixth-grade English/language arts, science and social studies; and eighth-grade reading.

“CRCT has been progressively moving in the right direction slowly but positively,” said Carol Rountree, Richmond County’s director of student services.

One of the most significant gains came in seventh-grade reading, where the number of pupils meeting or exceeding the standards increased 6.5 percentage points, to 89.4, in 2012. Eighth-grade social studies pupils meeting or exceeding standards increased 8.5 percentage points, to 60 percent.

The highest performance came in eighth-grade reading, where 91.9 percent of pupils met or exceeded standards.

Rountree said much of the improvement has come from remediations in every grade, Saturday school programs and 15-day assessments that help teachers monitor student progress.

“We view that as a positive response to what is in place already,” Rountree said.

The results released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Education are district level and do not
include summer retakes. School-level results are expected by July 12.

Columbia County pupils showed improvements in all areas except third- and fourth-grade math; science and social studies, fifth-grade math and science; and sixth-grade science.

No grade had less than 83.4 percent of pupils meet or exceed standards in any subject, and the highest performance came in eighth-grade reading, where 98.7 percent of pupils met or exceeded standards.

Columbia County Super­intendent Charles Nagle said its difficult to compare year-over-year scores for the same grade because it compares a different group of students.

Pupils who produced the third-grade scores from last year are now in fourth grade, so comparing third grade year-over-year scores will result in some natural fluctuation, he said.

Deborah Franklin, the county’s assistant superintendent of student learning, said that the performance is encouraging but that teachers are consistently working to increase math scores. Administrators are focusing on teacher training and curriculum strategy to make sure achievement improves.

“We’re never going to be content unless we’re at 100 percent,” Franklin said. “We’re going to make sure we’re increasing our scores and student performance as much as possible.”

The standardized test is used as an accountability measure for schools and a way to determine student mastery in content areas. The importance placed on the CRCT is changing, however, as Georgia moves to a new statewide accountability system.

This year’s CRCT scores will not be used to determine a school’s Adequate Yearly Progress as was done in the past.

Under No Child Left Behind legislation, schools could be labeled failing if a certain number of students did not meet standards for one subject on the CRCT. As Georgia moves into the new Career Ready Performance Index system, however, the success of schools will not be determined just on test scores but also on indicators such as reading levels and career awareness.

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Riverman1
81299
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Riverman1 06/28/12 - 01:17 pm
2
1
Public Schools Have Little to do With Success

Show me the per capita income level of a county and I can accurately predict the test results. That simple fact speaks volumes.

countyman
19509
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countyman 06/28/12 - 01:40 pm
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I thought metro Augusta

I thought metro Augusta included Mcduffie and Burke on the GA side too... If the response becomes those two counties aren't mentioned due to the population figures... The diffrence in population between Mcduffie/Columbia is around 100k, and the gap between Richmond/Columbia is around 70k...

It's intresting the article didn't want to compare the individual schools in each county, but focused solely on the overall scores....

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 06/28/12 - 01:42 pm
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Riverman1,

How accurately?

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 06/28/12 - 01:56 pm
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(C)ountyman,

Luna must be blue as I disagree with Riverman1 and agree with you.

By the way, has anyone ever wondered why GAPubEducrats spent millions of GA taxpayers' dollars on a state academic test when a national test of high validity and reliability was already available? Could these educrats' actions have had anything to do with the fact that educrats didn't want to embarrass themselves and the monopoly school system they control. Embarrass themselves? How so? Because our kids, on average, have historically demonstrated pathetically lower academic skills when compared to those of their national peers?

Does anyone think there might be a link between low academic skills and low wages, Richmond County? Hancock County? Warren County? Ya think?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

dichotomy
31643
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dichotomy 06/28/12 - 02:02 pm
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"as Georgia moves to a new

"as Georgia moves to a new statewide accountability system"

Which translates to "as Georgia moves to a new standard that doesn't so obviously show how bad our system is and make us say FAIL."

Seems like we can always come up with a new "accountability" system but nobody ever gets held accountable when the system says FAIL. We just get a new system.

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 06/28/12 - 02:10 pm
2
0
It's probably a good bet...
Unpublished

They don't really want you to know how they did individually. Nothing hurts a school worse than parents pulling their kids out of low performing schools. I know this from experience in RC. I was told my son would not be moved from a under achieving school because of how high he tested. I will never understand why we play politics with our kids education.

Riverman1
81299
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Riverman1 06/28/12 - 02:33 pm
3
2
Dr. Spinks, pretty doggone

Dr. Spinks, pretty doggone accurately. It's the demographics that determine academic success. Richmond County spends far more per pupil than Columbia County, but the Columbia County students have a much higher score in all subjects. There's no secret why. Richmond County teachers have a much tougher job and will have for decades. You taught in Richmond Cty., to your credit, and I suspect you know this, too.

dichotomy
31643
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dichotomy 06/28/12 - 02:46 pm
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"Does anyone think there

"Does anyone think there might be a link between low academic skills and low wages, Richmond County? Hancock County? Warren County? Ya think?"

I've seen far too many very bright kids from very poor families. There is another common denominator between those, and other poorly performing counties.

countyman
19509
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countyman 06/28/12 - 03:21 pm
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Why would you

Why would you think the wages in RC are similar to those small counties?? I could maybe understand mentioning Burke county due to the Plant Vogtle expansion...

Aiken County had a huge increase in the number of jobs from 2009-2010(stimulus funds)... The rest of counties are represented fairly...

2010

Aiken County $46,561

Richmond $42,240

Burke $40,453

Columbia $34,205

Edgefield $32,140

Mcduffie $31,989

Riverman1.... I think you mean 'some' teachers in Richmond County have a tougher time, and will have for decades.... Comparing the overall scores in the county are much diffrent than using individual scores of each school...

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 06/28/12 - 03:32 pm
1
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(C)ountyman,

Surely you're not suggesting that most of the graduates and dropouts of the RCSS are earning wages which allow them to meet the RC figure.

And, by the way, what is and where'd you get that figure for RC? What: An average? A median? A mode? Where: Carol Rountree? Deke Copenhaver? Fantasyland?

There's no way that RC has a higher mean/median/modal family income than does CC.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 06/28/12 - 03:37 pm
1
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Dichotomy,

Not for a minute do I accept the notion that SES controls academic achievement. Nor do I mean to imply that there're not smart folks in RC, HC and WC.

I'm just saying that folks with poorer academic skills tend to have poorer economic outcomes. GA Power rejects half of the GA HS grads applying for jobs paying BIG MONEY as welders, welders helpers and entry-level jobs because the kids don't have the necessary academic skills.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 06/28/12 - 03:39 pm
2
0
Riverman1,

You take demographics. I'll take hard work.

Demographics is correlated with academic achievement. Hard work produces it.

Riverman1
81299
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Riverman1 06/28/12 - 03:40 pm
1
1
Countyman, don't even go

Countyman, don't even go there with the Davidson, AR Johnson magnet school thing. They have TINY student populations and every student who wants to get in CAN'T. The vast majority of students in Richmond Cty score poorly. That's a simple fact that it does no good to dispute. The focus should be on bringing the scores of the entire county up and not bragging about a few hundred in magnet schools.

The 100 Black Men of Augusta do an excellent job with their mentoring and that's a big help. The RC paid mentoring program is also another excellent program. The fact is the per pupil cost for Richmond Cty should be more than Columbia Cty.

Riverman1
81299
Points
Riverman1 06/28/12 - 03:42 pm
2
0
Dr. Spinks, if you think your

Dr. Spinks, if you think your hard work teaching Richmond County students will make a significant difference in our lifetimes, I think you are misguided. It's going to take a while and I'm not opposed to helping out.

countyman
19509
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countyman 06/28/12 - 03:43 pm
1
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Those figures are the wages

Those figures are the wages per job in the particular county... I guess your comment was related to the median income in each county...

I still don't know why you would compare RC versus those two small counties... This is from the 2010 census, and not census estimates....

Riverman1.. Keep telling yourself only Davidson and AR Johnson outscore the schools in Columbia county.. I said nothing about magnet schools including CT Walker...

Riverman1
81299
Points
Riverman1 06/28/12 - 03:44 pm
1
0
Specific Schools v. Countywide Results

Honestly, folks, what is being truthful? Bringing up the results of magnet schools with a small number of students or trying to improve the education of the vast majority of poorly performing students? We simply have to be realists.

countyman
19509
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countyman 06/28/12 - 04:02 pm
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2
Riverman... You're simply

Riverman... You're simply WRONG if you think every school in Columbia County outscores the schools in RC except for the three magnet schools... Whether it's elementary/middle/high, because Davidson/AR Johnson are both 6th-12th, and CT Walker is K through 8th grade....

The comment about the 'vast majority' of students peforming poorly has nothing to due with being a realist, because it FALSE.... I can tell you didn't even take the time to look at the scores....

Riverman1
81299
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Riverman1 06/28/12 - 04:19 pm
1
0
Please, Countyman, Compare Countywide Scores

How can I make this any more simple? Compare the scores of ALL the students of Richmond Cty v. Columbia Cty. See what I mean?

Your argument sounds like something a carwash operator would come up with.

Riverman1
81299
Points
Riverman1 06/28/12 - 05:07 pm
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Fade to grey.

Fade to grey.

Bringing up results of a few magnet schools is a way to circumvent the focus on the horrendous results of the county as a whole. I'll buy a house in your zipcode if you can guarantee acceptance for my kids into a magnet school.

seenitB4
84080
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seenitB4 06/28/12 - 05:05 pm
1
0
:):)

You two are killing me today..:)

madgerman
236
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madgerman 06/28/12 - 06:01 pm
0
0
Don't give me reams of data
Unpublished

Don't give me reams of data showing that the changes are positive. If you want to tell me how smart our kids are, show me the top 5% of questions missed in each subject, that will be enough for me to determine just how smart the kids are. But that isn't as sweet as a data figure and of course it may raise some serious capability questions. In any event we are still about 37th in the world and almost last in the USA. Now that is something to be proud of, isn't it?

raul
4435
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raul 06/28/12 - 10:29 pm
0
0
@CraigSpinks. You have to

@CraigSpinks. You have to remember that those RC salaries come from high paying jobs in the medical community, Fort Gordon,etc. located in RC, whereas the individual of those high paying jobs may reside in CC.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 06/28/12 - 10:48 pm
0
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Riverman1,

I'll take you up on your offer of help.

Little Lamb
44815
Points
Little Lamb 06/29/12 - 08:33 am
0
0
Statistics

I was always a math nerd, and I spent a lot of time trying to solve puzzles in those brain teaser books (remember the one where two cars were approaching each other at a constant rate and a fly was buzzing back and forth between the cars at a faster constant rate – you had to calculated how far the fly flew?). Well, my high school library had a book called How To Lie With Statistics. I read it and was fascinated. The book showed how people mis-apply numbers, lists, averages, and many other things in order to deceive or mislead people.

Educators would seem to be masters of the techniques. And I am still puzzled by Countyman's list in his 3:21 p.m. post.

Here is a link to a web page that says that the little book is still available:

How To Lie With Statistics

avidreader
3069
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avidreader 06/29/12 - 12:08 pm
0
0
2011 was interesting!

This past school year was very interesting. I had the same demographic of students that I usually have. Many of the impoverished kids continued to push the boundaries of absenteeism. Many continued to choose having a molar pulled rather than read a novel. Many still do not understand the difference between a present and past tense verb. However, as a whole the kids scored wonderfully on the EOCT.

I was feeling a little cocky about my teaching skills until I spoke with a couple of other ninth-grade teachers. Their results also showed a vast improvement. Now, some might say that the test was "dumbed" down. They're wrong (I investigated)! Some might say that this past year was simply an anomoly. Maybe! I can only hope that the answer lies in our county's commitment to reading from the bottom up -- K-8. And, let's not forget our 15-day PAR tests and wonderful curriculum coaches.

I had a great school year in 2011/2012. It's so much easier to teach children who can actually read.

And, to Dr. Craig Spinks: I have to admit that a lot of your "educrats" comments are valid, and I trust your insiders knowledge; however, there are some educats at the BOE who really do care and work tirelessly to help improve our system. Carol Roundtree is one of them; why don't you speak with her sometime?

Little Lamb
44815
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Little Lamb 06/29/12 - 01:17 pm
0
0
Encouraging

Thanks for the update, Avidreader. I'm glad you are seeing improvements in the performance of your ninth graders.

I do think that the statements above by one Deborah Franklin are too Pollyannish and not truthful: “We’re never going to be content unless we’re at 100 percent.” If 100% of your students ace the test, the test is too easy.

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