Coweta County schools surpass state in CRCT
by Celia Shortt
The students of Coweta County continue to excel and outperform the state of Georgia in all areas of the 2014 Criterion Reference Competency Test.
The CRCT measures students’ proficiency of Georgia’s basic public school curriculum in the following areas: reading, English/language arts, math, science, and social studies in grades three to eight. The 2014 CRCT covers a total of 30 areas and was taken by students during the 2013-2014 school year.
“Coweta County outscored the state at a higher rate in every area of the CRCT,” said Dean Jackson, public information officer for the Coweta County School System, at the board of education’s meeting on Tuesday.
Jackson said Coweta students outperformed the state last year as well, but this year, they also improved their test performance in 17 of the 30 areas of the test.
“I am proud of our teachers and students and the efforts they make every day,” said Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker. “They are achieving at a high level of success and continuing to improve on that success from year to year.”
Some key achievements for Coweta County students in the 2014 CRCT include:
•Eighty-nine percent of third graders met or exceeded standards in social studies, six percentage points higher than the state of Georgia and a five percentage point improvement over the 2013 passage rate.
•Ninety-six percent of fifth graders met or exceeded standards in reading and English/language arts.
•Ninety percent of fifth graders met or exceeded math standards.
•Eighty-six percent of fifth graders met or exceeded science standards.
•Seventh and eighth graders outperformed the state by almost seven percentage points in math. Sixth graders also outperformed the state in math by almost five percentage points.
•Eighth grade students outperformed the state in science by seven percent.
•Ninety-eight percent of eighth graders met or exceeded reading standards, and 96 percent met or exceeded English/language art standards.
•Almost 87 percent of eighth graders met or exceeded the standards in social studies.
Dr. Barker was pleased with the students’ performance and their improvements, especially with the testing changes coming next year. “This is an important year for us in regards to assessment,” he said.
He reminded the school board the present CRCT is changing, and the new test will include more open-ended questions.
“Some of those changes are taking place next year,” he said. “There’s going to be a different report, a different scoring mechanism.”
This new testing system, the Georgia Milestones Assessment System, will replace both current assessments currently used for students – the CRCTs and EOCTs – and will be aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.
The State of Georgia awarded a $107.8 million, five-year contract to CTB/McGraw-Hill on May 28 to develop the new testing system.