A majority of Columbia County's third- and fifth-graders passed standardized tests required for promotion to the next grade, Superintendent Tommy Price announced Tuesday.
In Richmond County, third-graders performed about the same as last year, and fifth-grade scores improved.
In the first year that Georgia's fifth-graders were required to pass math and reading tests to move to middle school, 7.9 percent of Columbia County pupils failed, half of them from special-education classes. In reading, 4.2 percent of fifth-graders did not pass.
Also, 3 percent of Columbia County third-graders failed the reading test needed to move to the fourth grade.
"In reality, you have to accept the fact that some kids do struggle and have learning problems," Mr. Price said. "I think the numbers are relatively low, and we have to be pleased."
Those who failed can attend summer school before retaking the Criterion Referenced Competency Test, the superintendent said.
"We have a two-week summer program to give them some intense remediation, and then they will take the test again," Mr. Price said. "I think we've got no more than five students per teacher to try and really individualize it, concentrate on their weak areas and help them pass."
In Richmond County, testing director Carol Rountree held a news conference Tuesday, a day after she released a summary of the county's results.
At the board's Broad Street offices, she released a school-by-school breakdown of results and commented on fail rates, which are more than triple those of Columbia County.
She said the third-grade results are no worse than last year and better among fifth-graders.
"In Richmond County, we feel very satisfied for the performance of our students. We think students, teachers and parents have all worked very hard," Dr. Rountree said. "The evidence is obvious in the performance of the students, and we feel that they may begin their summer reassured that this has been a very good year."
In fifth grade, 21.6 percent of Richmond County pupils failed the math portion and 16.5 percent faltered on the reading test.
Among third-graders, 14.5 percent of Richmond County pupils failed to pass the reading test.
Next year, eighth-graders will be required to pass the reading and math tests to move to high school.
The law is designed to end social promotion.
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Here are the number of third-and fifth-graders at each school who failed the listed test required for promotion to the next grade (third-grade reading is defined by 3R; fifth-grade reading by 5R; fifth-grade math by 5M).
Lake Forest Hills81414