Newton County School System students scored above the state average in 10 of the 30 content areas on the 2013 Criterion Referenced Competency Tests, and performed below the state average in the other 20 content areas.
Overall, students in Georgia’s elementary and middle schools improved performance on the majority of the CRCT taken this year.
NCSS students outperformed the state in third-grade English/language arts (NCSS 88.5, state 88.1); in fourth-grade reading (NCSS 92.9, state 92.5), math (NCSS 84.5, state 84.3), science (NCSS 84.3, state 82.7), social studies (NCSS 81.7, state 81.3) and English/language arts (NCSS 90.7, state 90.2); in fifth-grade social studies (NCSS 81.2, state 80.5) and English/language arts (NCSS 94.7, state 94.2); and in eighth-grade reading (NCSS 97.3, state 96.8) and science (NCSS 77.2, state74).
State law requires that students in third, fifth and eighth grades meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in reading in order to be promoted to the next grade level. Fifth- and eighth-grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in mathematics.
In Newton County, 91.9 percent of third-graders met or exceeded the standard for reading, compared with 92.1 percent for the state. In reading, 92.6 percent of Newton County fifth-graders met or exceeded the standard, compared with the state’s fifth-graders at 92.9 percent; and in eighth-grade reading, Newton County had 97.3 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards, compared with the state average of 96.8 percent.
NCSS had 88 percent of its fifth-graders meeting or exceeding the standard for math, compared with the state average of 89.5 percent; and in eighth grade, the score was 80.3 for NCSS, compared with the state average of 83 percent.
When preliminary CRCT scores were released in May, outgoing NCSS superintendent Gary Mathews said all elementary and middle schools showed improvement on the CRCT tests in 2013 compared with 2012’s final CRCT results in the school system, improving scores for the fourth consecutive year.
"Overall, when this spring is compared to last spring, [our] elementary and middle schools posted a 66.6 percent Rate of Improvement in the ‘Meets Standards’ category of the CRCT. Most impressively, NCSS elementary and middle schools demonstrated an 86.6 percent Rate of Improvement in the ‘Exceeds’ category of the CRCT.
"This marks the fourth consecutive year for the upward trajectory of state test scores in our county," Mathews said.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, elementary and middle school students in the state improved performance on the majority of the CRCTs taken this year.
The 2013 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. Students also reportedly 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.
"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 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."
Georgia, along with all other states, will soon be required to significantly increase the rigor and cut scores of all state assessments.
Scores released by the state do not include retest scores, which will be released at a later date.
Individual school test scores will be released by July 10. All 2013 CRCT scores can be found online by visiting the Georgia Department of Education website at gadoe.org.