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Local school systems improve CRCT scores

But like those across the state, students did poorly in social studies

POSTED: June 18, 2009 12:54 a.m.

Hall County and Gainesville school system’s state test scores generally reveal improvement over last year’s scores in all subjects except for social studies.

State standardized Criterion-Referenced Competency Test scores for Georgia’s elementary and middle school students improved in nearly all areas this year, but most dramatically in the crucial subjects of mathematics and science.

Students across the state posted gains on all 14 of the tests in mathematics and science, all of which are aligned to Georgia’s more rigorous curriculum. This year, for the first time, all the CRCTs are aligned to the new curriculum.

The CRCTs are curriculum-based tests given to students in first through eighth grades in the subjects of reading, English language arts, mathematics and science and social studies in third through eighth grades.

Nearly all groups of Hall County and Gainesville third-, fifth- and eighth-graders showed improvement over last year in math, science, reading and language arts.

Of those three grade levels, only Hall county eighth-graders showed improvement on the social studies portion of the test. Of those three grade levels statewide, only eighth-graders statewide showed improvement on the social studies portion of the test compared to last year.

Hall County eighth-graders and Gainesville fifth- and eighth-graders scored above the state average in math and science. Gainesville and Hall County students in grades three, five and eight produced reading and English/language arts scores that hover near or above the state average.

Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield said he was pleased with the system-level results for the county school system.

"I am encouraged to see gains in math and reading for 15 of 16 categories in grades one through eight," Schofield said. "Additionally, we gave the exams very early this year so that we could have our remediation within the regular school year versus our traditional summer school. Our students and staff did a solid job."

Across the state, the biggest one-year gain on any of the CRCTs was in eighth-grade math. The pass rate was 70 percent, an increase of eight percentage points.

"Our new grade eight math curriculum is very rigorous, but our teachers and students are embracing the rigor and are making tremendous progress," State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox said. "Even more encouraging is the rise in the number of students who are scoring at higher levels on the exam."

The percentage of grade eight students statewide scoring in the "exceeds" category also jumped eight points to 23 percent.



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