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June 4, 2008

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Overall, gains made in state CRCT results
Despite recent concerns about two exams on a state-mandated test, students made improvements in most areas of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, according to initial results.
The Georgia Department of Education provided the preliminary findings of the CRCT results to school systems last week following media requests.
However, state officials continued to stress that the results are preliminary, and that system and school-level results are not available. Official CRCT state results are expected early this month.
“The overall news is good: In areas where the new curriculum has been implemented for more than one year, we are seeing steady improvement at a state level,” state department of education spokesperson Dana Tofig wrote to school superintendents last week.
Areas where the state’s new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS), have been implemented for at least two years show gains on the CRCT.
Those areas include English/Language Arts for grades 1-8, reading for grades 1-8, science in grades 3-7, and math in grades 1, 2, 6 and 7.
But in areas where the GPS was taught for the first time during the recent school year, scores were lower.
In math, 37 percent of eighth graders failed the exam. State results also show that about 30 percent of third, fourth and fifth graders also didn’t meet standards on the CRCT.
State education officials later tossed out the results for sixth and seventh grade social studies, after 75 percent of seventh graders and 71 percent of sixth graders failed the exam.
State schools superintendent Kathy Cox has said the lower math scores were due to the switch in the curriculum. She said the social studies results were invalidated because they were “implausibly low.” Cox also said the action only affected sixth and seventh grade social studies results and not other subjects on the CRCT.


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