School has been out for only a couple of weeks, but for hundreds of area pupils, summer has come to an abrupt end.
School officials said they failed to meet state standards on the required portions of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.
They must pass the retest later this summer or successfully appeal in order to be promoted to the next grade.
The tests necessary to advance are in third-grade reading, fifth-grade reading and math, and eighth-grade reading and math.
In Richmond County, 616 third-graders, 743 fifth-graders and 378 eighth-graders failed to meet standards in reading. On the math test, 486 fifth-graders and 917 eighth-graders failed to meet standards.
Columbia County Director of School Improvement Lisa Soloff said 130 third-graders, 128 fifth-graders and 76 eighth-graders failed reading, and 98 fifth-graders and 212 eighth-graders failed math.
Pupils who failed have the option of attending summer school before taking the tests again.
Test results brought good and bad news for Richmond County.
On one hand, every middle school in the county except two improved in eighth-grade reading and math. C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School and John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School had 100 percent of pupils meeting standards.
"They've been working hard," Carol Rountree, the school system's director of guidance and testing, said of the middle schools. "That's what that says."
It was the first time eighth-graders have faced consequences for not passing the test.
"It makes a difference when the students realize that the test is going to count toward promotion than when they are simply told they need to do well," Dr. Rountree said. "Having strong consequences linked to it really makes a difference in performance, and hopefully that's going to continue."
Elementary school pupils, however, struggled in reading, with fewer passing this year compared with last.
But, Dr. Rountree cautioned that a comparison shouldn't be made because there are new standards and new tests are being used.
"Of course, we would've liked to have had the same percentage or greater percentage pass as before, but knowing there was going to be a new test and it's actually a new baseline, we're not expected to compare them to last year," she said.
Pupils will have another chance to pass the required tests at the end of June.
Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Percentage of pupils in Richmond County and Georgia who failed to meet state standards on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (2006 data are preliminary):
|Third grade||Fifth grade||Eighth grade|
Sources: Richmond County Board of Education, Georgia Department of Education
OFF TO SUMMER SCHOOL
Pupils who didn't meet state standards on the required sections of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests must pass a retest this summer, successfully appeal or be held back. Here are the 2006 preliminary percentages of pupils in Richmond County who didn't meet standards and the 2005 results:
|Third grade||Fifth grade|
|Lake Forest Hills||11||7.8||20||26.5||20||22.9|
|School||Reading 2005||Reading 2006||Math 2005||Math 2006|
Sources: Richmond County Board of Education and Georgia Department of Education