Rockdale students above state CRCT for second year (June 25, 2013)
RCPS beats state in every CRCT category(June 28, 2012)
CRCT results up, over state scores (June 18, 2011)
Rockdale high schoolers' End of Course Test scores for 2013 lagged behind the state average in six of the nine subject areas, did well in English, social studies, and physical science, and greatly dropped in Math I compared to last year.
Math I saw 27 percent passing in Rockdale this year, compared to 67 percent passing last year - a 40 point drop.
This was the first year for Coordinate Algebra, which had a 30 percent pass rate in Rockdale and 37 percent across the state.
Superintendent Richard Autry said, "While our high schools collectively demonstrated growth in the majority of courses, the rate of growth is not commensurate with the levels of mastery we expect all students to demonstrate."
The statement released from the school system went on to say "The most glaring concern was the mathematics performance of freshmen and sophomore students. This achievement level does not match how this group of students performed on the eighth grade math portion of the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests the past two years. There is a pattern of disconnect between the level of rigor expected at the end of middle school math and that of an incoming ninth grader."
Rockdale's eighth grade CRCT math scores last year were well above the state average. RCPS had 80.1 percent meeting or exceeding while the state average was 76.65 percent.
This year marked the first year for the Coordinate Algebra test, replacing the Math I portion of the tests. As expected, scores across the state were low.
"One variable that cannot be ignored is that the state high school math curriculum has changed three times over the past four years," said Autry. "This obviously puts a strain on finding appropriate resources, conducting relevant teaching training, and most significantly, a lack of coherence for our students. I agree with the State Superintendent that the level of rigor and difficulty has changed dramatically in one year. Our teachers and our students must have the opportunity, the time, the resources, and the training to rise to this new level of expectation and it will take longer than 10 months."
Some of the changes RCPS is looking at to give students extra support include revamping schedules to provide math instruction every day for students enrolled in the new Coordinate Algebra.
RCPS high schools normally operate on an A/B block schedule in which a student takes four courses on day one and four different courses the next day and the rotation repeats until the end of the year.
But ninth and tenth grade math students will now have a master schedule that provides math instruction every day on a year-long basis.The school system hopes the consistency and increased time will give both teachers and students a deeper level of understanding and mastery for the math EOCTs.
Autry highlighted the performance in English - which was well above state average - social studies and physical science EOCTs. "High levels of achievement in our English courses, and significant incline trends in Social Studies and Physical Science are credited to the tireless efforts of our high school teachers, administrators and staff," he said.
Students state-wide improved performance on nearly every 2013 End-of-Course Test compared to last year, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Education.
In April 2011, the State Board of Education approved a plan to phase out Georgia High School Graduation Tests, beginning with students who entered ninth grade for the first time in the 2011-12 school year. For these students, the EOCT counts as 20 percent of the student's final grade, an increase from the previous 15 percent level.
Students saw improved scores in U.S. History, Economics, Biology, Physical Science, Ninth-Grade Literature and Composition, American Literature and Composition, Geometry and Mathematics II. There were particularly large jumps in pass rates for Mathematics II, U.S. History and Physical Science.
"These scores show the hard work of our teachers and students is paying off," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "When looking at results in subjects that can be compared to last year, it is a positive trend. However, we are not where we need to be in every subject, particularly in math."
In Coordinate Algebra, 37 percent of students met or exceeded the standard this year - the first ever administration of the test after schools began offering Coordinate Algebra for the first time last fall. The rate of students passing the test is expected to increase next year.
"The Coordinate Algebra results give us a first look at the new level of rigor that is coming with new federal criteria for state tests, where the expectations to meet standards will increase significantly," said Superintendent Barge. "The new cut scores on the Coordinate Algebra test are more in line with the higher level of expectations required for students to get into post-secondary institutions and not need remediation, as well as the expectations many of today's jobs require, which is why fewer students met or exceeded the standard. Over time, I am confident that our students will become more comfortable with the new level of rigor and will demonstrate that in their college and career readiness."
Other 2013 EOCT results state-wide:
·59 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Mathematics II, an increase of 5 percentage points compared to 2012.
·75 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Geometry, an increase of 1 percentage point compared to 2012.
·86 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Ninth Grade Literature and Composition, an increase of 2 percentage points compared to 2012.
·91 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for American Literature and Composition, an increase of 2 percentage points compared to 2012.
·74 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Biology, an increase of 1 percentage point compared to 2012.
·83 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Physical Science, an increase of 6 percentage points compared to 2012.
·73 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for U.S. History, an increase of 5 percentage points compared to 2012.
·79 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Economics/Business/Free Enterprise, an increase of 2 percentage points compared to 2012.
·29 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Mathematics I. The scores are not comparable to previous years because so few students (4,286 statewide) took the test.
·30 percent of students met or exceeded the standard for Algebra. The scores are not comparable to previous years because so few students (588 statewide) took the test.
The purposes of the EOCTs are to assess student achievement of the state standards in designated core courses and to provide data to assist in the improvement of instruction and learning.
The EOCTs assess a sample of the knowledge and skills that educators agree comprise a complete curriculum for each course. Georgia students have opportunities to learn - and are expected to master - much more than the tests address. Student performance is categorized into three levels: does not meet standard, meets standard and exceeds standard.
End-of-Course Tests are offered in the following courses:
English Language Arts
- Ninth Grade Literature and Composition
- American Literature and Composition
- Mathematics I: Algebra/Geometry/Statistics
- Mathematics II: Geometry/Algebra II/Statistics
- Coordinate Algebra
- Physical Science
- United States History
- Economics/Business/Free Enterprise