Barrow County students in the 5th and 8th grades did not fare as well as high school students on the latest round of state writing tests.
Though local students in both lower grade levels did better than their counterparts across the state, one in six Barrow County 5th graders failed to meet the state’s minimum standard on the writing test, and one in 10 students in the 8th grade failed.
As previously reported, only 4.5 percent — or about one in 20 — 11th graders failed.
The percentage of local 5th graders not meeting state standards (16.5 percent) was lower than the 5th graders statewide (21 percent). But the performance of Barrow 5th graders overall slipped about 2 percent this year.
The biggest single decline was at Auburn Elementary School, where the passage rate (65.3 percent) dropped by 20 percent. That means one in three Auburn fifth graders failed the test.
“Obviously, we are very disappointed with our scores,” said principal Shawn Williams last week. “Since we have just received the data, we are in the very early stages of analyzing the domains to determine what areas of the writing process our students are struggling with the most.”
Kennedy Elementary School’s 5th graders also experienced an increased failure rate. Last year, only 9 percent of that school’s 5th graders failed. This year 19 percent — or about one in five — failed.
BRIGHT SPOTS IN LATEST SCORES
A bright spot in the 2013 writing assessment was the significant improvement at Bramlett Elementary School. With a passage rate of 90 percent, only one in 10 of its fifth graders failed. Last year, one out of four failed.
Yargo Elementary School’s students had the lowest failure rate (8 percent), which means that one in 12 did not meet the state standard.
The biggest improvement overall was the percentage of 5th graders who exceeded state standards. To pass, students had to score at least 200 points. To exceed expectations, students had to score at least 250 out of the 350 possible points. All eight local elementary schools had a greater percentage of students this year exceeding the state standard.
At Auburn Elementary School, 6.6 percent of 5th graders exceeded the standard; Bethlehem, 11.3 percent; Bramlett, 18 percent; County Line, 6.3 percent; Holsenbeck, 23.1 percent; Kennedy, 25.2 percent; Statham, 16.2 percent; and Yargo, 17.1 percent.
See complete story in May 8 edition of the Barrow Journal.