Saturday, May 30, 2009
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CONYERS - Rockdale County students outpaced their statewide peers on most sections of the spring Criterion Referenced Competency Tests, according to results released by the Georgia Department of Education this week.System-level results show that the average percentage of first- through eighth-grade students in RCPS who met or exceeded standards, or passed the test, were above state pass average in 32 out of the 34 areas that the GaDOE reported this year. The two areas where local students lagged - first-grade reading and sixth-grade science - were .2 and .5 percent, respectively, below the state averages."The state has not yet released comparative data for the overall elementary and middle school percentages for meeting and exceeding the standards," said RCPS Superintendent Samuel King in a press release. "However, our own preliminary analysis seems to indicate an overall increase in the number of students meeting and exceeding the standards. We will continue to monitor our assessments and align our safety net programs."The highest pass averages are found in eighth-grade reading with 95.5 percent and eighth-grade English with 95 percent; the lowest pass rates were eighth-grade science with 68.3 percent and sixth-grade science with 68. Other pass rates were reported to be anywhere between 70.6 and 94.5 percent.State pass rates ranged between 62.6 in eighth-grade social studies to 92.7 in eighth-grade reading. Rockdale students outperformed their statewide counterparts on those sections by between 1.9 and 8 percentage points.Students in third, fifth and eighth grades must meet or exceed standards in reading and fifth- and eighth-grade students also must meet or exceed the standards in math to be promoted to the next grade level. Those who do not pass those sections of the CRCT have an opportunity to take a class over the summer and attempt to pass the test again; those results then will be added to the school's tests results to determine the school's performance.CRCT data, as well as other factors like attendance, will be collected to determine a school's Adequate Yearly Progress, as required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Schools and school systems in Georgia that don't meet AYP may be placed on the state's Needs Improvement list, depending on their past performance.Compared to last school year's results at this time, RCPS saw an increase in 19 areas of the CRCT - between .2 percent in second-grade reading and 16.3 percent in eighth-grade math. The system saw a decrease in 15 areas - between .4 percent in third-grade reading and 19.8 percent in fourth-grade social studies. Fifth-grade social studies also saw a decrease of 16.7 percent, and third-grade social studies saw a decrease of 14.6 percent. This is the first year that social studies in Georgia was aligned to the new Georgia Performance Standards curriculum.The GaDOE is expected to release school-level results from the CRCT no later that July 7, according to a press release from the GaDOE.More information about the Georgia CRCT, including state results and results from other systems across the state, is available by visiting www.gadoe.org, where school-level results also will be released.Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.