Most pupils who fail state exam advance

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ATLANTA --- Very few of the pupils who fail a state exam required for promotion to the next grade are held back by schools, according to data released by the state Friday.

Detailed data from the Georgia Department of Education show about one in every 13 eighth-graders who failed the math portion of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests last year were barred from advancing to high school. One in 12 fifth-graders who didn't pass the math test in 2007 were prevented from advancing.

Pupils in first through eighth grade take the CRCT every year, but third-graders must pass the reading test and fifth- and eighth-graders must pass the reading and math tests to be promoted.

Pupils who don't pass the test the first time have one shot at retaking it but can appeal to a school-based committee to be promoted even if they fail the retest.

Last year thousands of students were promoted by committee -- which consists of one of the child's parents, the teacher and the principal -- despite failing the CRCT twice, state data show.

State education officials say pupils should be given every opportunity to be promoted to the next grade.

"We should look at students holistically," said state education department spokesman Dana Tofig. "The decision to hold a student back is a very serious decision, and it should not be based on one test."

The fates of last year's test takers offer a glimpse of what parents can expect as thousands of Georgia pupils head to summer school before taking the retest at the end of the summer. The state's eighth-grade math scores plummeted this year, which state officials have blamed on a more rigorous curriculum and a tougher test.

Preliminary data released by the state late last month show nearly 50,000 eighth-graders -- nearly 40 percent -- failed the math CRCT. That's about double the rate of last year, when 19 percent of the state's 126,000 eighth-graders -- roughly 24,000 children -- failed.

Preliminary data also show that 70 to 80 percent of sixth- and seventh-graders failed the social studies CRCT, which led state Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox to throw the scores out because she said the test was not an accurate measure of what children were taught. Social studies tests are not used for promotion.

The state is expected to release final CRCT data next week. Math and reading CRCT scores are among the measurements Georgia uses to meet federal No Child Left Behind standards.

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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/07/08 - 06:16 am
0
0

If the student is going to be

If the student is going to be passed "holistically", then why bother with tests at all, for any reason?

bone
23
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bone 06/07/08 - 06:52 am
0
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ditto pt

ditto pt

christian134
1
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christian134 06/07/08 - 07:11 am
0
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Well said Patricia...Now if

Well said Patricia...Now if the answer to that question would just be as simply answered instead of wrapped in all kinds of bureaucratic hogwash something meaningful just might be accomplished....

DeborahElliott2
4
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DeborahElliott2 06/07/08 - 07:35 am
0
0

I will stick with the

I will stick with the homeschooling books with my kids, they can at least get by with what teachers didn't get to teach or didn't know to teach due to bureaucratic bull. Even if the CRCT test questions change, the kids will pass it.

redapples
443
Points
redapples 06/07/08 - 08:08 am
0
0

I knew that would be the

I knew that would be the case! There is nowhere to house all the failed students at middle school.

giwi
93
Points
giwi 06/07/08 - 08:27 am
0
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If a child fails the retake,

If a child fails the retake, the parent can request an appeal. I thought that "No Child Left Behind" did away with social promotion.

fran
1
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fran 06/07/08 - 08:34 am
0
0

If we didn't have social

If we didn't have social promotion, we'd have to put more parking lots at the elementary school for student parking...

Chuchi
2
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Chuchi 06/07/08 - 08:34 am
0
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Well, that's what "No Child

Well, that's what "No Child Left Behind" must really mean; fail the test and you won't get "left behind" in your grade level. What a great program!

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 06/07/08 - 08:45 am
0
0

Any high school teacher will

Unpublished

Any high school teacher will tell you this article is no news. Students are socially promoted until the 9th grade, then they have to earn carnegie units and they end up failing because they cannot read beyond a 3rd grade level. I suppose it is used in order to keep them from quitting in the 6th grade. They wait until 9th, then when they find out they are being left behind each year, they drop out.

Freeman
0
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Freeman 06/07/08 - 08:45 am
0
0

No child left behind means no

No child left behind means no child will be held back, don't teach 'em, just promote them, turn them loose everywhere and we'll have the grandest 'dumbing-down' of all time.

Freeman
0
Points
Freeman 06/07/08 - 08:47 am
0
0

ditto crackertoy. That's it

ditto crackertoy. That's it in a nutshell.

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 06/07/08 - 08:57 am
0
0

can we get a collective,

can we get a collective, hear-hear??

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 06/07/08 - 08:59 am
0
0

just think about the other

just think about the other avenues where all this energy and manpower spent could have been used.

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 06/07/08 - 09:00 am
0
0

and what exactly are we

and what exactly are we teaching our children?? when the going gets tough-- seek the path of least resistance.

jaschild
5
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jaschild 06/07/08 - 09:17 am
0
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my comments actually pertain

my comments actually pertain to the system and their lack of ........

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 06/07/08 - 09:20 am
0
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walking and refilling a

walking and refilling a birdfeeder comes to mind :)

avidreader
2606
Points
avidreader 06/07/08 - 09:27 am
0
0

Crackertroy has pretty muched

Crackertroy has pretty muched summed it up. I am a ninth-grade teacher. I have two choices: Teach the Georgia Performance Standards, or have an incredibly high failure rate. There is a vague term referred to as "Differentiation", but this is a whole different can of worms. Many of the academically motivated kids are enrolled in advanced classes and this leaves the "College Preparatory" kids (or as I call them, General Education classes). About half of the CP kids succeed in mastering the skills. A good portion of the others are nowhere near being prepared for high school when they arrive. I had 82 CP students on my roll this year who were held accountable to state testing (EOCT). Six were in Alternative School, and eleven had 20 or more absences for the school year. Troy was also correct in his assumption that a lot of the ninth-graders end up dropping out. The mere cultrual shock of high school drives them away. Many do not understand accountability. All the holistic concepts bite the dust, and the child without family support and some sense of self-discipline ends up frustrated and confused. And there are many.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/07/08 - 09:38 am
0
0

i teach middle school and i

i teach middle school and i can assure you this is where the fault lies. very little accountability or responsibility is given to students and, as a result, they are used to extremely lax grading standards and non-existent boundaries when it comes to making up work. we are failing our students as educators by not allowing them to learn good study / work habits in middle school; instead, we let them get by with whatever they are willing to do at the moment and lower the standards so that even the least motivated pupils pass. birds are fed, by the way - squirrels are wreaking havoc out there.

theeobserver
0
Points
theeobserver 06/07/08 - 09:39 am
0
0

PT, students have to test to

PT, students have to test to hold teachers accountable because the public in general doesn't respect the teaching profession.

jaschild
5
Points
jaschild 06/07/08 - 09:42 am
0
0

so are these graduation

so are these graduation coaches and additional academic help in schools enlisted in the hopes of preventing the drop out rate?
i realize all of this can't be as simple as it sounds. i'd like to lump the responsibilities right back into the parents' laps - - but you can't make them care or become involved. no one wants to see a child drop out; that's a lose-lose situation for that child and the community and thus, the cycle of public assistance begins.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/07/08 - 09:46 am
0
0

public trust with teachers is

public trust with teachers is never going to be reestablished, i'm afraid. test scores are used as battering rams to "prove" that teachers are not doing their best work for students and i don't believe this is ever going to change.

sickandtired
0
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sickandtired 06/07/08 - 09:58 am
0
0

Bone - as a middle school

Bone - as a middle school teacher myself I have to disagree with your assumption that this is where the system fails. When a sixth grader walks into my school reading on a 3rd grade level I would have to say that the failure begins in elementary school. The lack of study skills and ethics in education starts from day one in pre-k. Low expecations and social promotions do nothing but handicap the student until he or she is so far behind in his or her education that he or she drops out and become a statistic.

If all educators could get into the same boat and SERIOUSLY teach the children the necessary materials, skills and attitudes about education that foster a productive citizen our educational system would see a tremendous upswing in acheivement.

gnx
7
Points
gnx 06/07/08 - 09:58 am
0
0

It's sad the teachers always

It's sad the teachers always get the blame for poor test scores. True, some teachers should be blamed, but I lay the majority of the blame on parents who don't enforce good study habits in their children. You can 'learn' all day long, but unless you study properly and commit to learning you'll never retain what you've been taught. Even if a child is breezing through assignments and tests with good grades it does not mean he or she is actually retaining the information for later application.

jack
10
Points
jack 06/07/08 - 10:48 am
0
0

Hope my grand daughter passes

Hope my grand daughter passes the re-test, but if not, I hope she is advanced as she made Bs in Math but failed the CRCT math test by 3 points.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 06/07/08 - 11:33 am
0
0

Do they still offer "The

Do they still offer "The Workshop Way" to first and second grade parents? This program teaches PARENTS how to establish an environment conducive to learning, connects parents with teachers, and made a world of difference in my kids lives.

middleschoolparent
0
Points
middleschoolparent 06/07/08 - 11:51 am
0
0

I don't think it is fair to

I don't think it is fair to hold a chilc back if the fail the test twice and passed all of their classes. Some people have difficulty with test. The whole picture should be looke at in determing if a child should pass/fail a grade due to CRCT results.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/07/08 - 01:36 pm
0
0

Public education in Georgia

Public education in Georgia needs a "Harry Truman." Now, how many parents who complained about the use of standardized testing in the Social Studies(and any other content area tested)with their Honor Roll or A/B students have any idea as to what I'm alluding? Grade inflation and non-test-based grading options have eroded the validity of letter grades written upon report cards(or printed thereon) as a measure of student knowledge and skills. Or hasn't anybody else noticed?

workingmom
0
Points
workingmom 06/07/08 - 02:35 pm
0
0

sickandtired, I teach at the

sickandtired, I teach at the elementary level and I can assure you that elementary teachers do not have an easy job. Some children come to school not even knowing their alphabet and they have been in Pre-K! I find it hard to believe that if a child is read to in the early years, they will be ready for school (most of the time). It has been my experience that students who are in danger of failing either have serious learning problems or come from a home environment where there is little emphasis put on education. I have had parents write notes explaining why Johnny didn't have his homework. The excuses range from having sporting events late at night to they just didn't have the time to help them with the assignment. It's sad. You wouldn't believe the numbers of parents who are adamantly opposed to holding their baby back in a grade if a teacher suggests they are not ready to move on. Usually, the parent wins this battle.

workingmom
0
Points
workingmom 06/07/08 - 02:38 pm
0
0

On the other hand, I have

On the other hand, I have mostly wonderful, involved parents who are genuinely concerned with their child's learning and will go out of their way to help them if he or she is struggling. I try to send home extra practice assignments or point them toward websites for extra practice whenever possible. If a parent REALLY wants help for their child, the majority of teachers will go out of their way to assist them.

BarstoolDreamer
19
Points
BarstoolDreamer 06/07/08 - 02:59 pm
0
0

"its the parents fault".

"its the parents fault". "they are not getting the help" (from somewhere else of course) "it has to be the previous grades".... and by the way "we don't make enough money for not being responsible for anything"

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