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Schools begin analyzing CRCT scores

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County principals said they're starting to analyze the results of a state standardized test, of which the school-level results were released this week.

The results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT), administered to Georgia's first- through eighth-graders each spring, do more than help determine if a school will make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the principals said. The data help schools develop improvement plans.

"The results help us communicate our mission," Sweetwater Middle School principal Georgann Eaton said. "They provide something very tangible to use as the conversation piece."

Eaton said she knows teachers and parents aren't the only people interested in knowing how students perform on the CRCT. Business owners, real estate agents and community leaders seek the results as well.

"Better schools build stronger communities," Eaton said. "(The CRCT results are) something that gives us a common ground."

The CRCT results are just one thing educators use to target instruction and improve a school's achievement results, Meadowcreek Elementary School principal Kelli McCain said.

"If you use it properly, you can really dissect a student's knowledge and levels of knowledge to help them be successful the following year," McCain said. "If there's something in the curriculum all the kids have mastered, you don't have to spend a lot of time teaching that skill."

Each school's CRCT results are available on the Georgia Department of Education's Web site. To see the results, visit www.gadoe.org, click on the press release titled "CRCT Scores Increase in All Areas," and then click on State-, System- and School-Level Scores.