Eighth-grade students from both school districts showed strong gains in reading, science and social studies, conforming to a statewide trend in their performance on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. The percentage of Columbia County eighth-graders meeting or exceeding test standards increased in every subject except math, which saw a 3 percent decrease. The largest increase for Columbia County eighth-graders was 4.5 percent in those meeting or exceeding science score standards from last year, bringing this year’s total to 89.9 percent.
Eighth-grade Richmond County students had an increase in test scores exceeding or meeting state standards in every area except math and language arts, which saw 2 percent decreases. Richmond County eighth-graders exceeding or meeting state standards in science test scores went up 5.4 percent compared with last year to 61.6 percent.
Richmond County third-graders also showed gains, with the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards increasing in every testing category.
Scores for other grades remained mostly static. No grade level fell under 50 percent in the “exceed or met standards” category in every testing area, and Columbia County students performed above state averages at almost every grade level.
The CRCT is meant to test how well third- through eighth-grade students “acquire the skills and knowledge described in the state mandated content standards in reading, English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies,” according to the Georgia Department of Education Web site. Students must meet or exceed state standards on the exam before moving on to the next grade.
Richmond County schools Superintendent Frank Roberson said he was happy with the performance, saying the district compared favorably with other Georgia counties with similar demographics.
“We can say we’ve met or exceeded other counties like ours,” Roberson said. “That speaks volumes for our teachers who have been working side by side with our students to make sure they perform well on this exam and the parents who have supported their children throughout the process.”
Columbia County schools Superintendent Sandra Carraway credited “rigorous” classroom standards.
“All of our students performed extremely well, and of course the thanks for that go to our parents, faculty and staff members,” Carraway said. “Our sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders have participated in accelerated math and reading programs, and you can expect better scores because of the more rigorous classes.”
This will be the last year Georgia students will undergo CRCT testing. The exam will be replaced by the Georgia Milestones testing system next year. According to a news release from the state Department of Education, the system will be more in line with existing Common Core standards.
Results for individual schools will be released around July 10.