Originally created 05/08/99

Richmond County test scores improve



Many Richmond County schools are inching closer to the national average on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

While some schools rank above the national percentile, their scores decreased from last year. Other scores were up in one grade and down in the other.

Richmond County received ITBS results this week.

The test shows Richmond County third-, fifth- and eighthgraders scored above the national percentile average, which is 50, in language arts, and third-graders scored right at the national average in math.

Individual scores, however, paint a different picture at most schools.

Sue Reynolds Elementary School had the top score in Richmond County. Pupils in both third and fifth grades increased scores in all subjects and are above the national percentile in most subjects.

Principal Maxine Hammond said her teachers worked hard to make sure pupils "got it."

"We studied previous test scores and found out the weaknesses," Mrs. Hammond said. "We were careful about making sure students knew all the course work required in their grade levels."

Third-graders at Bayvale Ele

mentary School increased their scores in all areas, and scores of fifth-graders increased in all areas except reading.

Cheryl Fry, who started this year as principal of Bayvale, said she's tried to put several principles in place to help the school achieve.

A program called Time-OnTask requires teachers to use every instructional minute of the day.

Mrs. Fry said the school also had more parental involvement this year than ever before.

"There is a big emphasis on technology in schools," Mrs. Fry said. "But teachers teaching is what it takes for students to achieve."

Pupils in third and fifth grades at C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet Elementary School improved scores in all subjects except science -- which remained the same. But eighth-grade scores were down in every subjects. The school's scores, though, still remain above the national percentile average.

Other schools that showed significant changes:

Scores for third-graders at Peter H. Craig Elementary are down in all areas.

Tubman Middle School eighth-graders improved grades in all subjects.

At McBean Elementary, scores were down in all subjects except math in fifth grade.

At Forest Hills Elementary, scores for third-graders were down in all subjects, but fifth-graders improved scores in all areas. All scores are above the national average.

Goshen Elementary pupils improved scores in everything but third-grade science and fifth-grade reading.

Scores were up at John W. Houghton Elementary in all subjects except third-grade social studies.

High school juniors in Richmond County also did better on the language arts and math portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test. Scores remained the same in science and social studies.

The required exit test shows the percentage of high school juniors who passed the test on the first try.

The county score showed 94 percent passed in language arts, up from 91 last year. In math, 84 percent passed, up one point from last year. In science, the score remained 63, and in social studies, 74 percent passed, as did last year.

Some individual school scores show:

T.W. Josey High School students increased percentage points in all subjects.

Lucy C. Laney High School students increased percentages in all subjects except science, which was down by one percentage point.

Westside High's scores were down in all subjects except social studies.

Butler High scores were down in all subjects.

Academy of Richmond County students increased scores in all subjects except social studies.

A.R. Johnson Health Professions and Engineering Magnet School and Davidson Fine Arts School scores remained near perfect.

The individual school scores will be available on the school district's Web site at www.richmond.k12ga.us

Faith Johnson covers education. She can be reached at (706) 823-3765 or faithj@augustachronicle.com.