Rate of failure on test surges

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State and local school officials scrambled Wednesday to deal with the unexpectedly high failure rates of mandated tests that Georgia eighth-graders are required to pass in order to advance to high school.

The statewide failure rate is about 40 percent, and even in usually high-scoring Columbia County, Superintendent Charles Nagle said 27 percent of his eighth-graders failed the test's math portion.

"We knew that there was going to be a dip," Mr. Nagle said Wednesday. "We were not anticipating that it would be this dramatic."

Mr. Nagle said 462 of the system's eighth-graders failed the math CRCT this year. Last year only 162 eighth-graders didn't pass.

Richmond County continues to crunch its numbers, but Carol Rountree, director of guidance, testing and research, said Wednesday the increase in the number of pupils needing to attend summer school this year will be significant.

Georgia's Department of Education has been phasing in a new, more rigorous curriculum with tougher standardized tests. This year was the first for eighth-graders to take the new math test, and also the first for sixth- and seventh-graders to take a new social studies test, which only 20 to 30 percent passed.

That dismal showing on the social studies portion prompted Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox to announce Wednesday that she would throw out the results.

"Simply, the performance appears to be implausibly low, which raised serious questions," Ms. Cox said in a statement to local superintendents. "Accordingly, the results will be invalidated. It is important to note that we found nothing technically incorrect with the scoring of these assessments."

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?


IN RICHMOND COUNTY: School officials have sent letters to the parents of children who failed the math portion of the CRCT to advise them of their options. Middle school CRCT remediation classes are scheduled June 4-26 at Tutt, Morgan Road and Spirit Creek middle schools.


IN COLUMBIA COUNTY: School officials have contacted parents whose children failed the test. They recommend children attend summer remediation classes by contacting their home schools. The summer session will be June 3-20 at Evans High School.


WHAT DO YOU THINK?


If you would like to discuss how your child has been affected by the CRCTs, contact Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com, or Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113, or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.

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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/22/08 - 04:00 am
0
0
The tests were to difficult?

The tests were to difficult? Nobody teaches to the tests any more? How can the system improve if the students can't be tested on what they've learned? Something's out of sync here.

Just My Opinion
5454
Points
Just My Opinion 05/22/08 - 04:51 am
0
0
Wait! They are not telling

Wait! They are not telling the whole truth! The REAL reason the scores were so low on the new social studies test (with only a 25% pass rate) was that it was over material that the children were NOT instructed on! Imagine if you were instructed on European history and georgraphy, but they tested you on Asia, or South America. It was the wrong test material, and THAT is why the superintendent is so willing to throw the results out. Hopefully the details will come out about all this. I hate that the children are made out to be the idiots here, instead of the ones who screwed up the testing.

bigbert9980
0
Points
bigbert9980 05/22/08 - 04:56 am
0
0
they need to go back the old

they need to go back the old way and just pass your classes and move to the next grade. Students in both columbia and richmond take test all the time and when you don't pass it can be very discouraging for studeents. They just take to many tests in school these days

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 05/22/08 - 05:08 am
0
0
If you went with old school,

If you went with old school, the kids would barely follow instructions to get a job! They would never see college! I do agree that the teachers need to teach the subjects that are on the tests, but also that the students clearly understand what is being taught to begin with. I hate to say it but perhaps if more kids focused on their educational agendas and watched tv less, they would improve their skills. This is why it is important that parents get involved with the kids education AFTER school! Hire more tutors for an after school program so the kids would be able to grasp the concepts of math! Oh wait, you took those programs out all ready cause you wanted to save more money for gas for the buses.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/22/08 - 05:40 am
0
0
Tested on material not

Tested on material not taught? What would that prove? Are the tests about relevant information and the students just taught meaningless information? Who makes up the tests and are the teachers informed before the year begins so the instruction can be coordinated with the tests? Something is out of sync here.

thingsneedtochange
0
Points
thingsneedtochange 05/22/08 - 06:20 am
0
0
Big Bert I have been saying

Big Bert I have been saying that for years

iteach2
0
Points
iteach2 05/22/08 - 06:27 am
0
0
As the article states, the

As the article states, the state is implementing new, more rigorous standards. This is a good thing. Where the problems comes is with the test companies. The first year the tests don't necessarily cover the new standards. I have seen this first hand in the past 2 years as new standards were tested in math and reading/language arts in the younger grades. It has taken 2 years for the test to match up with the standards in the reading/language arts area. This middle school glitch will be fixed also- it will just take time and more collaboration between test makers and state DOE people to ensure that test really measures what it needs to.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 05/22/08 - 06:31 am
0
0
There is all kinds of great

There is all kinds of great logic going on in school. I remember one of my kids made a 93 on one of her exit exams. Everyone did so poor they curved the grades. She went from a 93-94, and a 89 went to a 95. The poorer performer was rewarded with a better grade. I had to give her the life ain't fair spiel. That is what our society is doing now. Reward the poor performers and punish those who excel. Great strategy. Force people to be equal.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/22/08 - 06:45 am
0
0
Bizarro, mediocrity is school

Bizarro, mediocrity is school leads to Democrat votes. I smell an agenda.

LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 05/22/08 - 07:01 am
0
0
CRCT is not a good test to

CRCT is not a good test to measure the knowledge of the student. It is very discouraging when a student has excelled in school all school year and because they fail a test a point or two then they have to go to summer school and waste their entire summer on some class with students that really do not excel in school, do not care about school or anything to that measure.

thrilled to hear
0
Points
thrilled to hear 05/22/08 - 07:08 am
0
0
The problem is that for

The problem is that for years, the teachers only taught for the test. I have seen that in the military also. Being taught only what is on the test, is not good for anyone. This limits the scope of what is being taught, instead of being taught an overview of a subject. The students are only taught specific sections. I see it in my grandson's school all the time.
Maybe we should go back to the old school and really teach our kids a subject, instead of a test.

mahem1920
0
Points
mahem1920 05/22/08 - 07:13 am
0
0
Could it be the kids aen't

Could it be the kids aen't learning anything but how to fight and the hoochie coo?

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 05/22/08 - 07:20 am
0
0
There is a truth that works

There is a truth that works in everything including school. "If you got better results in the past in anything than you do now; go back to the ways of the past and you will get those better results"

Public school is a fairly new experiment in the history of man. Generations of very bright people who accomplished much didn't have public school. The closer a system approaches home schooling the better it will become as that is now the best by all measures.

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 05/22/08 - 07:26 am
0
0
The classes should not be

The classes should not be labeled with the subject title alone but should be titled 'the test study class for the subject....' then they could cancel jeopardy about the same time Alex Trebek retires, (won't be any more contestants due to lack of any one graduating). Look if a kid comes home and plays or watches tv, just restrict them to educational games and channels like NatGeo, Sci, Disc, etc and block all other programs in the evenings. Make their environment smarter...constantly ask questions about their subjects to see what they are learning. The learning process shouldn't stop when the kid leaves the school property. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children well, their father's hell....G'day ya'll. Have so much to do this week... outside work...doing a 2-person job w only me...I always knew I had a split personality...practice 'fair' today for yer kids' sakes.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 05/22/08 - 07:31 am
0
0
Guess these kids didn't have

Guess these kids didn't have Daddy telling them to do their homework and study. Throw out the test results? What a positively STUPID idea. "Dr, I don't like the results of my CT Scan. Let's throw it away and leave my tumor untreated." Testing measures progress. There is no progress. Save your children: give them a Daddy and a Mommy and teach your children privately.

shivas
2
Points
shivas 05/22/08 - 07:34 am
0
0
The problem is teachers teach

The problem is teachers teach to pass tests rather than provide a learning opportunity for children. Apparently, no one told them what was on the test this time

lnegronp
0
Points
lnegronp 05/22/08 - 07:54 am
0
0
It's simple, the problem lies

It's simple, the problem lies in 3 main areas: Lack of UPDATED books & quantity of books, lack of GOOD teachers who are actually there to educated and too many "teachers" who are there just to get a paycheck. My nephew is an A student at Langford and he says that the kids have to share books sometimes, which is ridiculous that they would spend more money on atletics than on education. My neice goes to Hephzibah and her "teacher" only came to work 3 days a week AT THE MOST!!! When she was at work all she ever talked about was her problems with her boyfried and nothing was done when parents complained. The argument? Lack of teachers, so the students had to "deal" with the situation. The entire class failed the Language Arts portion because she wasn't there the entire CRT pre testing and testing week. We need to step up and create a better system because this one JUST ISN'T WORKING!!

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 05/22/08 - 07:57 am
0
0
how does 3rd generation

how does 3rd generation stupid teach their kids to excel? 70% of kids born in ga are on medicaid which means the dumb people are out breeding the smart people. we are caught in a downward spiral of the welfare state. 30% paying for 70% to have babies aint gonna work.....................

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 05/22/08 - 07:59 am
0
0
shivas much as I hate to say

shivas much as I hate to say it ...you are correct! If a teacher teaches a FULL state mandated curriculem then at test time there would be no problem.

unnamed
0
Points
unnamed 05/22/08 - 08:09 am
0
0
I sure hope all this means

I sure hope all this means Columbia County did away with the useless and senseless waste of time titled "Eighth Grade Project". Huge waste of class time.

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 05/22/08 - 08:28 am
0
0
the best solution is to build

the best solution is to build more sports venues as opposed to using the funds to make sure EACH AND EVERY STUDENT HAS SUFFICIENT SCHOOLS SUPPLIES AND THERE ARE ENUFF TEXTBOOKS FOR ALL. it seemed to work so far....not ennuff textbooks + an unwillingness to spend funds on what is needed + more concern placed on sports than on teaching the entire student body =what you have now a surge in failures in the CRCT tests. how about teaching goegraphy completely??? instead of certain sections...try that then so when the students take the social study part of the exam they will be ready

StrongWoman
0
Points
StrongWoman 05/22/08 - 08:52 am
0
0
LadyCisback I strongly agree

LadyCisback I strongly agree with you.

tjtrouble
0
Points
tjtrouble 05/22/08 - 08:59 am
0
0
OK, this is social studies,

OK, this is social studies, read the book people!!!!!

mahem1920
0
Points
mahem1920 05/22/08 - 09:07 am
0
0
It's called dumbing down.

It's called dumbing down. Been going on for abhout 35-40 years now. These are the results. Latwon, you are right! And, as much as I hate to admit it, shivas is right too!

BCG
0
Points
BCG 05/22/08 - 09:16 am
0
0
Remind me school is for our

Remind me school is for our young people to learn if you failed a test you were given material for then you did not learn. IF a student feels bad they should! The world is not fair.. tests should not be dumbed down for those that do not devout enough time and energy to learn the material. The future depends on these young people, encourage them to excel. Feeling sorry for them does not help in any way. Poor is me mentality should not be encouraged by a parent who cares about their children's future. IF there is a legitimate reason they can't do it so be it help them to be the best they can, but if not kick some tail and get them moving. From a Mom who does not let her children even think of not "working for it" THAT IS MY JOB as parent.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 05/22/08 - 09:16 am
0
0
Maybe this is just a mediocre

Maybe this is just a mediocre class and all you are going to get is mediocre grades. Likely the same teachers have been teaching the same material the last five years. Previous years classes have excelled in Columbia County. Perhaps this year the majority of students just aren't that bright. No offense, but we all differ in our cognitive abilities. The other possibility would be a drastic change in the test from previous years. Did this test drastically differ from those the last five years? I find the whole concept of standardized testing most interesting, especially for "gifted" children. There was a great article in Science magazine on the ills of education in the U.S. We spend a lot of time and money only to be beaten out by third world countries. One problem they noted was that back in the sixties and early seventies scientist (neurobiologist and neuroethologist) were publishing work that "believed" the brain learned and worked a certain way. Turned out the beliefs were wrong, but in the meanwhile the education system adopted methods with the false reasoning. I can try and find the article if you are interested.

hoped
0
Points
hoped 05/22/08 - 09:17 am
0
0
Some are right, they are

Some are right, they are teaching for the tests only, not the subject. Also the students are taught to do the problems a certain way not to think for themselves. If you are not allowed to try and figure out your own way to do something or figure it out for yourself what is that really teaching??? If the CRCT test scores are so bad maybe they should stop putting the answers in the back of the students books. And we cannot blame all of the teachers for the problems, they are pushed by administation for results and NOT to take the time for the education of the child. Spend time with your kids, make sure they are learning at home as well as at school. Do not leave it up to society to educate your child.
LaTwon hit the nail on the head with her response..

dani
12
Points
dani 05/22/08 - 09:21 am
0
0
Why would any teacher have to

Why would any teacher have to teach to a test. That doesn't make any sense. The students should be able to take the test from the regular every day studies. If a student is doing well, they won't fail the test. They either know the subject, or they don't know the subject. How hard is that? Sounds like more of the same old excuses to me.

bigbert9980
0
Points
bigbert9980 05/22/08 - 09:37 am
0
0
DeborahElliott2 you know good

DeborahElliott2 you know good and well they will still follow instructions and be able to get a job. and how can you make a statement they will never see college, if thats the case everybody in GA who grad 2000 and below would have not made it to college and you know thats not true. so you not making much sence talking about going the old school way, just pass your classes and move on. It wasn't a big problem back in the old school days. But now since these kids have to take SAT, CRCT, Final Exams and GA graduation test just to try to compete with other states it makes them hard to pass. I believe the CRCT test they can do without altogether. just my opinion.

lostmymind
0
Points
lostmymind 05/22/08 - 10:15 am
0
0
Is the school system going to

Is the school system going to pay for these kids to go to summer school? Last time I checked it cost to go to summer school.

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