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School CRCT scores released
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The following information was provided by the Newton County School System. Look in Friday's paper for the full story.

According to information released by the Georgia Department of Education today, Newton County School System (NCSS) students performed at or very near the state level on the 2014 Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) — reading, English language arts, math, science and social studies. These averages do not include retest scores, which should be released later this month. Scores are expected to increase once retest data is calculated.

Elementary highlights

At the elementary level, NCSS third-graders showed increases across the board in the number of students who met or exceeded standards on the 2014 CRCT. They even outpaced the state average in reading, English language arts and social studies.

NCSS fifth-graders saw an increase in the number of students meeting or exceeding standards on the reading, English language arts and science CRCT in 2014. They also had a better pass percentage than the state on the English language arts test.

Middle highlights

At the middle school level, NCSS sixth-graders posted an increased passing rate on the reading, science and social studies CRCT in 2014. They also matched the state pass rate on the science and social studies CRCT.

Seventh grade pass rates increased on both the English language arts and social studies and eighth grade pass rates increased on the science CRCT in 2014. Both seventh and eighth grade saw gains in the “exceeds standards” category in each test section.

“I greatly appreciate the focused work and dedication of our NCSS team,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Superintendent of Newton County Schools. “Our teachers have been working diligently to implement the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) in reading, English language arts, and math, while maintaining a laser-like focus on the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) in science and social studies. A testament to their efforts is the significant increases noted in the percentage of students who have exceeded the standard on the CRCT. We are better preparing students not only for the rigor associated with the new assessments but also for life beyond high school.”

Fuhrey added, “We are not satisfied with our results. With continued focus on our non-negotiable goals of more effective teaching and increasing students’ performance, we expect to see continuous improvement overall. We appreciate our parent and community partnerships and cannot emphasize enough the importance of the role both play in regards to students’ achievement. High expectations of our students coupled with appropriate educational and community supports will enable our students to be college and/or career ready.”

This is the last year Georgia students will take the CRCT or EOCT. Beginning next year, all students in grades 3-12 will participate in the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS).

Georgia Milestones will be aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics and the Georgia Performance Standards in Science and Social Studies. This testing system will require more from students than the CRCT and EOCT it replaces, in order to better prepare students for college and career and to provide a more realistic picture of academic progress.