More Coweta students exceeding CRCT expectations

by Celia Shortt

Individual school results just released by the Georgia Department of Education show the elementary and middle school students in Coweta County improved their scores on the Georgia Criterion Reference Competency Test (CRCT) for 2013.

'We want to see our students exceed what they think they can do,' said Dr. Steve Barker, Coweta County School System superintendent. 'Overall, we take test results and look at the individual student and what he or she can do to improve. We want to move more students to 'exceeds standards.'' The school system's work to move students forward is having an effect as the county increased its overall passage rates in 21 of the 30 areas covered by the CRCT, school officials said. This year more students exceeded the standard set by the test than last year, and Coweta County students met or exceeded the standard at a higher rate than the state of Georgia as a whole in all 30 areas covered by the test.

'This is the reflection of a lot of hard work by teachers and parents,' said Barker. 'Our goal is to refine what we do and continue to meet the needs of our students every day. I'm pleased with the improvements, but Coweta County has always pushed to improve.'

To achieve that goal, the school system has been working to make sure its curriculum is always at the required level to move its students forward.

One way it has done this is by implementing a district wide literacy plan. Schools are in their second full year of this program. In the last two years, the lowest percentage of students in a particular grade that met and exceeded the CRCT standard for reading was 92 percent.

'Our teachers have done a good job and worked very hard to prepare them,' said Barker.

The school system also has curriculum specialists for math and science who will be looking at the gaps in students' test scores for those subjects and seeing if and how the curriculum needs to be changed to foster improvement. A curriculum specialist for English/language arts and social studies was added this year to do the same.

'We are already making plans and preparations based on the test results from this year,' Barker added.

For the 2013-14 school year, however, maintaining these CRCT scores could be more difficult because the scores needed to meet or exceed the standards will be higher.



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