DCSS looks to make changes to increase test scores

In order to make sure all students move ahead, Dougherty County School System officials say they're looking to implement certain research and program based interventions

/ Colby Gallagher

Dougherty County School officials weren't smiling as they had the results of the 2012 CRCT test's reading section broken down to them Wednesday afternoon during an Instructional Accountability Committee meeting.

"A good third of them were reading at below proficiency level. Over half of them were not at the college and career ready performance level," said system test coordinator Renee Bridges.

Coordinators say these at-risk students only fall more behind as they progress because reading encompasses every subject. In order to make sure everyone moves ahead, school officials say they're looking to implement certain research and program based interventions.

"We're looking at having a summer math academy for our elementary students, so that doesn't mean that they didn't do well, this means we want to get them prepared for what they'll experience when they go through to the next grade," said secondary language arts curriculum coordinator Cassandra Sampson.

School officials say the responsibility doesn't and shouldn't just fall on the students, so they also need to take the steps to look at others in the building and make sure that they're performing up to standard.

"We've got to find out if we are inadvertently creating road blocks that hinder that teacher from doing their job, but we've also got to provide them support if they're weak in areas then we need to provide professional development for those teachers," said school board member Robert Youngblood.

Officials agree both administrators and teachers must be held accountable for their performance and say they also may look into tying those numbers to some type of intervention for them. For now, officials say they've implemented what they can but they'll continue to work on working hard until they're ready to bring voting items to the full school board.