LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett students outperformed state averages this year in all content areas at all grade levels on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.
Data released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education show students in Gwinnett County Public Schools and Buford City Schools posted average scores that were higher than the state's mean.
Additionally, more test-takers in Gwinnett County Public Schools met or exceeded the state standard than their peers statewide at all grade levels. In Buford, the percentage of students that passed the tests were higher than the state in all but one area -- fifth-grade science.
Students in grades 3 to 8 took the state-mandated tests in April. The CRCT measures what students should know and be able to do at their grade levels in reading, English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
"These CRCT results affirm our focus on improving achievement for all students through high expectations, increased rigor and student engagement in learning activities," says Dale Robbins, Gwinnett County Public Schools' associate superintendent for teaching and learning support. "We work very hard to encourage students to higher and higher levels of achievement. Our goal is not for students to simply 'pass;' our goal is for them to exceed the standards set by the state."
The county school system achieved double-digit increases in the percentage of students who exceeded standards on the test in fourth-grade reading, fifth-grade reading and seventh-grade social studies, Robbins said.
"We will continue to challenge students to achieve at their greatest potential by incorporating strategies such as problem solving, decision making and collaboration," he said.
In neighboring Barrow County, results reflect the highest level of achievement the county has posted since Georgia adopted a new curriculum in 2006, the district's superintendent said.
Of the 30 grade level and subject combinations that were tested, Barrow students showed improvement in 24 areas. The total pass rate for grades 3 to 8 combined increased in all five academic areas assessed from last year.
"We are elated with Barrow County's ongoing student achievement gains," Superintendent Wanda Creel said. "... Barrow County Schools is committed to continuing to hone our skills and instructional practices to make certain our students are successful and competitive in Georgia as well as nationally and internationally."