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      Georgia students improve on CRCTs

      Georgia Department of Education officials say that students in Georgia's elementary and middle schools improved performance on the majority of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) taken this year. / File

      Despite the new changes implemented to the CRCT core standards, testing scores improved in both Dougherty and Mitchell County Schools leaving officials pleasantly surprised.

      The Dougherty County School System said they had higher numbers in the "meets standards" or "exceeds standards" sector in 20 of the 30 possible categories, which was the same amount of gains they made in 2012.

      DCSS Testing Coordinator Renee Bridges says with the implementation of new standards, many expected to see a dip in scores but the system didn't see them. Bridges attributes this to the solid preparation given to teachers who better knew what to expect as well as the emphasis put on explaining how a student reached an answer so they could better grasp the concept.

      Mitchell County Schools Curriculum Director Christy Wray says the county made gains in all categories except reading which dropped 2%. Wray says this isn't concerning because it went from 95% to 93% after years of steadily increasing and she knew it would plateau at one point.

      Both counties agree science and social studies fall into their "needs improvement" category despite the fact that they made gains.

      In the old standards, the emphasis was placed on math, reading and English/language arts, but the newer core places an importance on all five subjects.

      Both Wray and Bridges say because they're newer testing subjects, the science and social studies numbers are not up to the standards expected within the counties or state but plan to focus their efforts on making steady improvements in following years.



      Full release from the Georgia Department of Education
      Students in Georgia's elementary and middle schools improved performance on the majority of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) taken this year according to the following release from the Georgia Department of Education.

      The 2013 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) results show a one-year improvement in the percentage of students meeting and exceeding on 18 of the 30 content-area tests, no change on seven tests and decreases on five tests. Further, students saw increases in the "exceeds performance" rating on 24 of the 30 content areas.

      "Our results this year on the CRCT show consistent progress and we continue to see many students scoring in the exceeds category," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "This is a testament to the great work our teachers are doing to take students to higher levels of learning."

      Exceeding the Standards: One Year Improvement on 24 of the 30 Content-Area Tests

      - Grade 3: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard in reading increased by 4 percentage points and in social studies by 3 percentage points. The percentage of students exceeding the standard decreased by 3 points in English language arts and 4 points in science. It remained the same in mathematics. Click here for system results.

      State results
      Subject

      Students Tested

      Did Not Meet Standard

      Met or Exceeded Standard

      Reading

      124,829

      7.9

      92.1

      English/Language Arts

      125,090

      11.9

      88.1

      Math

      125,495

      21.5

      78.5

      Science

      127,921

      21.6

      78.4

      Social Studies

      127,501

      16.6

      83.4



      - Grade 4: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard increased in all content areas. The percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social Studies increased by 5, 3, 3, 1, and 2 percentage points, respectively. Click here for system results.

      State results
      Subject

      Students Tested

      Did Not Meet Standard

      Met or Exceeded Standard

      Reading

      123,487

      7.5

      92.5

      English/Language Arts

      123,425

      9.8

      90.2

      Math

      123,167

      15.7

      84.3

      Science

      126,559

      17.3

      82.7

      Social Studies

      126,154

      18.7

      81.3



      - Grade 5: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, mathematics and social studies increased by 3, 10, and 1 percentage point, respectively. The percentage of students exceeding the standard decreased by 1 point in English/language arts and 2 points in science. Click here for system results.

      State results
      Subject

      Students Tested

      Did Not Meet Standard

      Met or Exceeded Standard

      Reading

      123,897

      7.1

      92.9

      English/Language Arts

      123,718

      5.8

      94.2

      Math

      122,886

      10.5

      89.5

      Science

      127,889

      20.4

      79.6

      Social Studies

      127,499

      19.5

      80.5



      - Grade 6: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard increased in all content areas. The percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies increased by 5, 3, 5, 2, and 4 percentage points, respectively. Click here for system results.

      State results
      Subject

      Students Tested

      Did Not Meet Standard

      Met or Exceeded Standard

      Reading

      125,500

      4.0

      96.0

      English/Language Arts

      125,385

      7.6

      92.4

      Math

      124,775

      17.3

      82.7

      Science

      128,704

      26.0

      74.0

      Social Studies

      128,343

      22.5

      77.5



      - Grade 7: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, science and social studies increased by 7, 1, 1, and 3 percentage points, respectively. The percentage of students exceeding the standard decreased by 5 points in mathematics. Click here for system results.

      State results
      Subject

      Students Tested

      Did Not Meet Standard

      Met or Exceeded Standard

      Reading

      125,610

      5.3

      94.7

      English/Language Arts

      125,321

      7.0

      93.0

      Math

      124,491

      10.1

      89.9

      Science

      128,238

      14.8

      85.2

      Social Studies

      127,877

      17.3

      82.7



      - Grade 8: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard increased in all content areas. The percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies increased by 4, 3, 5, 1, and 3 percentage points, respectively. Click here for system results.

      State results
      Subject

      Students Tested

      Did Not Meet Standard

      Met or Exceeded Standard

      Reading

      123,330

      3.2

      96.8

      English/Language Arts

      123,252

      5.7

      94.3

      Math

      122,487

      17.0

      83.0

      Science

      126,094

      26.0

      74.0

      Social Studies

      125,666

      22.1

      77.9



      Meets and Exceeds the Standards: One Year Improvement on 18 of the 30 Content-Area Tests

      When comparing the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the standard, the greatest gains were seen in grade 5 mathematics (+6 percentage points), grade 6 social studies (+5 percentage points), grade 7 social studies (+5 percentage points) and grade 8 mathematics (+6 percentage points). There were decreases in five areas: grade 3 English language arts (-3 percentage points), grade 3 mathematics (-3 percentage points), grade 4 English language arts (-1 percentage point), grade 7 mathematics (-1 percentage point), and grade 8 English language arts (-1 percentage point). There were no changes on seven tests.

      Promotion/Retention: State law requires that students in third-, fifth-, and eighth-grade meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in reading in order to be promoted. Fifth- and eighth-grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in mathematics.

      Georgia, along with all other states, will soon be required to significantly increase the rigor and cut scores of all state assessments.

      "We're pleased with the performance on the 2013 CRCTs, but we know that as new federal criteria for state tests come into play in 2014-15, the expectations to meet standards will significantly increase," said Superintendent Barge. "The new cut scores will likely result in fewer students meeting and/or exceeding standards, but that is common when you change to a new and more rigorous test."

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