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Test scores show strength in reading, English
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The best test scores for Hall County and Gainesville schools were in reading and English/language arts, while the lowest were in math, science and social studies.

The Georgia Department of Education on Tuesday released the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests scores for individual schools. The CRCT was administered to third- through eighth-graders across the state at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. In the coming school year, it will be replaced by the Georgia Milestones test, which will be administered to third- through 12th-graders.

Eloise Barron, Hall County School District assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said test performance is often better in reading, English/language arts and math because more emphasis is put on those subjects at the school level. She said those subjects are often seen as more important than science and social studies.

At two local schools, 100 percent of students scored at or above expectations on an area of the test — at Lula Elementary, 100 percent of fifth-graders met expectations in reading, while at World Language Academy, 100 percent of eighth-graders met expectations in both reading and English/language arts.

For all schools and grades in both districts, almost all of the scores of 97 percent or above were in reading and English/language arts. The only exception was a score of 97 in fifth-grade math at Gainesville Exploration Academy.

All of the scores below 70 were in math, science or social studies. Across grade levels and schools, science had the highest number of scores below 70. Reading had the highest number of scores above 97, and there were more reading scores above 97 than there were science scores below 70.

All of the scores below 40 were for eighth-grade science, math or social studies. The only one of these subjects in which no school received a score below 80 was seventh-grade math. Sixth-grade science also fared well compared to other grade levels in the same subject, with all schools scoring above 75.

Eighth-grade reading had the best scores, with every school in both districts performing at or above expectations at least 96 percent of the time. In third and eighth grades, at least 80 percent of students met expectations at every school reported. Fourth-grade math proved to be the most difficult testing area, with the largest number of scores below 70, and all scores below 94. The highest score for fourth-grade math was at McEver Arts Academy, where 93.5 percent of students met or exceeded expectations.

Every subject area had at least one score of 90 or above across schools and grade levels, with the exception of sixth-grade science, where the highest score was 87.5 at Davis Middle School.

CRCT scores affect each school’s College and Career Ready Performance Index score. Schools do not face any punitive actions for low scores.

A full list of school-level scores is available online through the Department of Education website.