Test results for the county’s Criterion Referenced Competency Test have been released by the Georgia Department of Education and the Newton County School System has seen increases in the majority of subjects in which they are tested.
Although first through eighth grade students are tested, only third, fifth and eighth-graders are required to pass certain portions of the tests in order to advance to the next grade. Third grade students must pass reading but are tested in reading, language arts social studies, science and math. Fifth and eighth graders are additionally tested in science and social studies but must only pass the reading and math portions to advance.
In third grade, students fared better than last year in reading, math and science but did worse in social studies and language arts. In reading, more than 84 percent of third graders passed and nearly 72 percent tested in the third grade passed the math portion of the CRCT. Social studies saw the most dramatic decline with 13.6 percent failing in 2008 and 30.3 percent failing this year.
Fifth-graders saw increases in each subject except for social studies. In math, 69.8 percent passed the test and in language arts and reading 87.7 percent and 82.3 percent passes the CRCTs. Social studies saw 15.2 students failing last year and 38.9 percent failing the portion of the test this year, while science scores increased by more than five percent.
For eighth grade students they did better in each subject where they were tested. In reading, 91.9 percent passed; in language arts, 90 percent passed; 62.9 percent of the students tested passed the math portion of the test; 59.8 percent passed the science portion and 55.7 passed the social studies portion of the CRCT.
More than 24 percent of third graders exceeded expectations in math, 21.9 percent in science and 22.7 percent in language arts. In fifth grader, 19.4 percent exceeded in math, 19.1 percent in science and 21.2 percent in language arts; and in eighth grade13.1 percent of students that took the test exceeded expectations in math, 9.5 percent in science and 24.6 percent in language arts.
In first, second, sixth and seventh grades, scores fluctuated, though none dramatically, with the exception of fourth grade social studies. In the 2008 school year only 13.3 percent of the students failed that portion of the test, while 37.7 percent failed this year.
Test results per school should be released in July. Test results in the major grades are indicators used to indicate if a school has passed Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and the pass/fail rate on CRCT scores for those grades is generally a good indicator as to where the school’s will place on AYP.