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Some gains on Richmond County course tests

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Richmond County high school students made gains from last year on the 2012 End of Course Tests but still trail the state average in achievement, according to districtwide results released Tuesday by the Georgia Department of Education.

Local scores increased in five of the eight tested subjects, dropped in one and remained relatively unchanged in two. The largest struggle came in Math II, where just 23.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards compared to 54 percent statewide.

The value of the EOCT increased this year as the state moved to phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Tests. Now EOCT counts for 20 percent of a student’s final course grade, compared to 15 percent previously, and acts as a final exam.

It will be the tool to measure a school’s progress under the new College and Career Readiness Performance Index being implemented this coming school year.

Richmond County also made gains but still struggled in Math I, where 45.6 percent of students locally and 65 percent statewide met or exceeded standards. The highest achievement came in American Literature, with 83 percent of Richmond County students meeting or exceeding standards.

To work towards improving those math scores, the Board approved investing just over $1 million into Carnegie Learning materials, which through a combination of printed products and interactive software will track the progress and weaknesses of individual students and allow teachers to focus on the areas in which specific children need help most. The money to fund that investment will come, in part, from Race to the Top awards and SPLOST funds.

Virginia Bradshaw, executive director for the county’s middle schools, said the Carnegie material and software would work like visiting a doctor’s office to get an exact diagnosis of an ailment, something she said would be impossible without the materials because of the number of students in each classroom and the variations in their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Carol Rountree, the executive director of student services, said she wished the gap between local and statewide achievement had been closed, but was proud of the progress made and confident that Richmond County’s scores would rise and meet statewide averages as long as the system helped schools as much possible.

“I am positive,” Rountree said. “I believe the evidence is there that shows it is working,

“We would love for the progress to have closed the gap, but our progress towards that goal is commendable. It’s evidence that programs like Carnegie are working, that the interventions of teachers and principals are making a difference, and one thing we understand is that in order to close that gap, it’s going to take time. The improvement has to begin at the lowest level and work its way up.”

The results for individual schools are expected to be released at the end of July.

Staff writer Stephen Detrage contributed to this story.

BY THE NUMBERS
 Richmond County 2012Georgia 2012Richmond County 2011
U.S. History536852.7
Economics50.77743.9
Ninth grade Literature76.98472.8
American Literature838983.1
Math I45.66540
Math II23.65434
Physical Science58.67758.6
Biology52.67349.5

*Numbers denote percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards

Source: Georgia Department of Education

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Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/17/12 - 02:57 pm
2
0
RCSS v. statewide EOCT scores: Two comparisons

The percentage of RCSS students who met or exceeded state standards on EOCTs trailed that of the state as a whole in all eight subject areas.

Moreover, the average difference between the statewide(73.5%) and RCSS(56%) percentages on each EOCT was 17.5%.

While there is some small increase in the percentage of RCSS students meeting EOCT standards, educrats in The Broad Street Temple "have miles to go before (they) sleep" - or take a long lunch. With an average failure rate of 44% on this year's EOCTs, somebody(ies) need to get to work or get gone.

Riverman1
82442
Points
Riverman1 07/17/12 - 02:57 pm
1
0
Math Scores Abysmal

That Math 1 and Math 2 scores for the county are abysmal. They are repectively 45.6% and 23.6% passing the national standard. Georgia as a whole scored 65% and 54%. My goodness in Math 2 the state scores are double the passing rate of the county. Richmond County schools need help fast. I wonder if counties where the state has taken over in the past had lower scores?

Little Lamb
45364
Points
Little Lamb 07/17/12 - 02:58 pm
1
0
Correction

Tracey McManus reported:

The value of the EOCT increased this year as the state moved to phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Tests.

It might be correct to say that the weighting of the EOCT in regard to the scoring of the overall system increased this year; but the actual value of the EOCT remains the same — zero.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/17/12 - 04:46 pm
1
0
The standards mentioned in this article are...

state standards, not national ones.

Speaking of "national standards:" The RCSS' average SAT score for the latest school year(2010-11) reported on the website of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement (www.gaosa.org) is 1296, over 200 points below the normed SAT total score(1500). The RCSS score is over 150 points below the actual average SAT.

The average SAT score for the four lowest-scoring RCSS high schools is below 1200 with the lowest score at 1141.

How many RCSS administrators are working day and night to help all our high school kids develop the Reading, Math and Writing skills they'll need to function as responsible parents, citizens and workers- and to earn decent scores on the SAT?

Riverman1
82442
Points
Riverman1 07/17/12 - 05:21 pm
1
0
The article changed slightly

The article changed slightly after my earlier comment. I think the figures for Georgia are a percentage of those who passed the national standard. Thus, the scores for Georgia are not great, but much worse in Richmond County.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/17/12 - 08:04 pm
1
0
Riverman1,

The EOCT standards are state ones.

Riverman1
82442
Points
Riverman1 07/17/12 - 10:16 pm
0
0
Dr. Spinks, help me out with

Dr. Spinks, help me out with this. I thought the article originally said the scores were a percentage of the national standard or something like that. Thus for Math 1, 65% of Georgia students made the national standard. Is that right?

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/18/12 - 02:38 am
0
0
Riverman1,

No, sir, that's not right.

For Math 1, 65% of the test takers met or exceeded GEORGIA STANDARDS.

Sleek educrats in The Twin Towers and elsewhere in our state thought for years that they could conceal our state's educational shortcomings by comparing our kids to one another, rather than to their national peers.

"You can fool all the people some of the time. And you can fool some of the people all of the time. But you can't fool all the people all the time."

Riverman1
82442
Points
Riverman1 07/18/12 - 07:40 am
0
0
Craig, Got It

Thanks. If anyone would know it would be you.

Little Lamb
45364
Points
Little Lamb 07/18/12 - 08:23 am
0
0
Graduation Rate

I think the graduation rate from Richmond County high schools hovers around 80%. It's interesting to compare that number to the numbers in the table up above.

Little Lamb
45364
Points
Little Lamb 07/18/12 - 08:26 am
0
0
Sore Arm

Carol Rountree, the executive director of student services, said:

“We would love for the progress to have closed the gap, but our progress towards that goal is commendable.”

I hope she did not break her arm with all that patting herself on the back!

avidreader
3128
Points
avidreader 07/18/12 - 09:33 am
0
0
A Big Mess!

A child can actually fail an EOCT and pass the class; however, I'm guessing that a 23.6% pass rate in Math II is going to leave a ton of students dangling in the repeat-the-course mode. I am wondering how the BOE is going to staff its math teachers to handle this overload. This also applies to Math I with a 45.6% pass rate.

Students who have to repeat courses are a huge burden on the schools (and the taxpayers). Some parents pay the big bucks for summer school, but many cannot or will not. It tends to become a big mess!

Little Lamb
45364
Points
Little Lamb 07/18/12 - 09:42 am
0
0
Obama on the way!

Don't worry, Avidreader. The Associated Press has a story today where Obama wants to provide $1 billion to hire new math and science teachers.

allhans
23546
Points
allhans 07/18/12 - 09:46 am
0
0
I guess half an education is

I guess half an education is better than none.

Its a shame to see what the taxpayers in Richmond County are paying for.

allhans
23546
Points
allhans 07/18/12 - 09:49 am
0
0
LL, Obama is promisng a

LL, Obama is promisng a $20,000 bonus for these teachers.

Little Lamb
45364
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Little Lamb 07/18/12 - 10:00 am
0
0
Uh, Oh

I just read the headline, allhans. I thought it must be a jobs creation bill. If they're just going to squander the $1 billion in bonuses for existing teachers (the ones that resulted in 24% pass rate for Math II EOCT), then unemployment stays the same.

Thanks for the information.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 07/18/12 - 11:11 am
0
0
encourage poor academic
Unpublished

encourage poor academic perfomance, lower expectations so even the slightest increase looks like great improvements but the imporvement still is below passing standards (i thought that 70% is a passing grade). as long as academic performance is remains low the school district remains eligible for "knucklehead"...oooops i mean race to the top federal grants. this is all the school board is concerned about, they care little about education, if they cared about education they would develop and environment conducive to learning and the learning process, instead by keeping poor students (that disruptive, dangerous, violent, and students who are not motivated and could care less about learning) in the classroom that lowers overall academic test scores.

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 07/18/12 - 12:17 pm
0
0
Nothing A Tax Hike

couldn't cure.

Raising taxes and paying sorry teachers more, or hiring more bad teachers, is the way to go.

Raising taxes is a cure all for any malady that might afflict you.

lynn7044
190
Points
lynn7044 07/18/12 - 03:11 pm
0
0
Math 1 and Math

Well first let's step back and look at whats really going on. RCSS went in and re-did the total math program. When things was learn at different level stages and not put part together. These books have 3 different subject of math all in one. The board have it set up where students are not starting at the front of the book, but in the middle and then after Christmas they go back to the front. Things are put together for a reason and now it should really be done that way. Our students have paid a very high cost for them to changing the material around like they have. Carnegie and U.S.Prep learning materials are great tools, but it must not be the substitute for the true interaction of a teacher and a students. Some teachers try to use these program more then doing there job. Yet, every home don't have a conputer and these children are penalize because of that. Teachers of given these kids bad grades because there is no computer in there home.
Now, that EOCT is going to be use as the key for our students, then it's time that we work as a team to get our students back on track. When we all was coming up the neighborhood work together. Our young men never wore there pants hanging down like they are now. Our young ladys never wore there pants so tight. That need to stop. Parents buy things that fit your children. Parents need to stop trying to be your child/ren friends. This is why I feel that all high school need PTA to get parents out of the house and into the schools. Cross Creek had a Math Night for parents to come out and learn about the math that the teacher was teaching the students. It was a great learning tool. Parents go visit your child classroom or go to the tutoring program. Some of the teacher will even set up the learning program so that you can learn too. Parents you have to visit your children school and not just when things go wrong.
We have to work as a group to get our students out that whole which have been made. Don't just come out when things are going wrong.

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