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Most CRCT scores up in Newton
Most grades show improvements
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In Reading, NCSS demonstrated improvement in four of six grades as shown below:

3rd Grade: 91.7 (+2.3)

4th Grade: 86 (-0.3)

5th Grade: 86.7 (No Change)

6th Grade: 91.9 (+2.8)

7th Grade: 88.8 (+3)

8th Grade: 95.8 (+1.3)

In English/Language Arts, NCSS demonstrated improvement in five of six grades shown below:

3rd Grade: 88.7 (+2.7)

4th Grade: 86.7 (+2.8)

5th Grade: 91.1 (+0.2)

6th Grade: 88.1 (-2.1)

7th Grade: 90.7 (+2)

8th Grade: 92.7 (+0.6)

In Math, NCSS demonstrated improvement in four of six grades as shown below:

3rd Grade: 77.4 (-0.1)

4th Grade: 80.2 (+9.6)

5th Grade: 82.3 (+4.1)

6th Grade: 70 (-0.6)

7th Grade: 86 (+2.8)

8th Grade: 74.8 (+5.3)

In Science, NCSS demonstrated improvement in five of six grades as shown below:

3rd Grade: 78.5 (+0.6)

4th Grade: 77.0 (+1.9)

5th Grade: 71.0 (-0.8)

6th Grade: 65.8 (+3.4)

7th Grade: 79.3 (+2.9)

8th Grade: 66.9 (+4.1)

In Social Studies, NCSS demonstrated improvement in four of six grades as shown below:

3rd Grade: 77.6 (-0.4)

4th Grade: 74.1 (+5.4)

5th Grade: 59.7 (-3.9)

6th Grade: 59.3 (+9.6)

7th Grade: 66.1 (+5.8)

8th Grade: 64.5 (+4.6)

Preliminary results for Newton County's CRCTs are in and show that most grades have made improvements from last year.

The CRCT test (criterion referenced competency tests) are given in grades three through eight and is designed to measure how well students have grasped the content level in their grades. Performance in the CRCTs determines if the individual school and the county will make AYP (adequate yearly progress) later in the year. This can in turn determine various things for a school system, such as making tutoring programs available and in dire cases, the state taking over a school.

In Newton County four of the six grades tested showed improvement in reading, math and social studies, while five of the six grades showed improvement in English/language arts and science compared to the 2010-2011 school year.

According to a press release from the Newton County School System, 90 percent of the county's students tested met or exceeded standards in English/language arts. This is an increase from last year when the percentage was 89.4. Math showed a larger jump, with 80 percent of Newton County students meeting or exceeding standards, up from last year's 76.6 percent.

"We're pleased to see the upward trends for grades three through eight, while recognizing that there is still plenty of room for improvement," said Superintendent Gary Mathews in a press release. "Nonetheless, given the upward trends that we saw on this year's Georgia High School Graduation Tests and on the Writing test for grades five and eight coupled with this year's CRCTs, it's a good thing to be on the upswing. Once federal AYP results are known, I do believe that NCSS will considerably best the dire prediction for our schools for this past 2010-11 school year when 19 schools were predicted to not make AYP. We're going to do better than this when these federal results are released."

Nationally, U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan has predicted that approximately 83 percent of public schools will not make AYP.

"As far as federal AYP and No-Child-Left-Behind are concerned, accountability has been a good thing when it comes to making sure that all groups of learners are monitored for success. However, one hundred percent of students passing state assessments by 2014 is hardly realistic," Mathews continued. "Additionally, I worry as an educator that these multiple choice assessments have been too limiting when it comes to focusing on a truly educated human being - one who can communicate effectively through oral and written communication inclusive of appropriate research abilities, exhibit deep thinking through project completion, work as a team member, and utilize technology effectively for the production and consumption of knowledge in the 21st century. Moreover, we need to produce students who not only read at a basic level, but who also think and care about what they read."

AYP results are expected to come in prior to the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, which starts Aug. 4.