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Students show improvement on majority of CRCTs

ATLANTA -- The state department of education announced Tuesday that students in Georgia's elementary and middle schools improved performance on the majority of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests taken this year.

The 2013 CRCT results showed a one-year improvement in the percentage of students meeting and exceeding on 18 of the 30 content area tests, no change on seven tests and decreases on five tests. In addition, students improved their "exceeds performance" rating on 24 of the 30 content areas.

"Our results this year on the CRCT show consistent progress and we continue to see many students scoring in the exceeds category," said State School Superintendent John Barge. "This is a testament to the great work our teachers are doing to take students to higher levels of learning."

District-level results were not yet available as of Tuesday morning.

Exceeding the Standards, One Year Improvement on 24 of the 30 Content-Area Tests:

  • Grade 3: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard in reading increased by 4 percentage points and in social studies by 3 percentage points. The percentage of students exceeding the standard decreased by 3 points in English language arts and 4 points in science. It remained the same in mathematics.
  • Grade 4: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard increased in all content areas. The percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social Studies increased by 5, 3, 3, 1, and 2 percentage points, respectively.
  • Grade 5: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, mathematics and social studies increased by 3, 10, and 1 percentage point, respectively. The percentage of students exceeding the standard decreased by 1 point in English/language arts and 2 points in science.
  • Grade 6: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard increased in all content areas. The percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies increased by 5, 3, 5, 2, and 4 percentage points, respectively.
  • Grade 7: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, science and social studies increased by 7, 1, 1, and 3 percentage points, respectively. The percentage of students exceeding the standard decreased by 5 points in mathematics.
  • Grade 8: When comparing 2013 performance to 2012, the percent of students exceeding the standard increased in all content areas. The percent of students exceeding the standard in reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies increased by 4, 3, 5, 1, and 3 percentage points, respectively.

Meets and Exceeds the Standards, One Year Improvement on 18 of the 30 Content-Area Tests:

When comparing the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the standard, the greatest gains were seen in grade 5 mathematics (+6 percentage points), grade 6 social studies (+5 percentage points), grade 7 social studies (+5 percentage points) and grade 8 mathematics (+6 percentage points). There were decreases in five areas: grade 3 English language arts (-3 percentage points), grade 3 mathematics (-3 percentage points), grade 4 English language arts (-1 percentage point), grade 7 mathematics (-1 percentage point), and grade 8 English language arts (-1 percentage point). There were no changes on seven tests.

State law requires that students in third-, fifth- and eighth-grade meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in reading in order to be promoted. Fifth- and eighth-grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in mathematics.

Georgia, along with all other states, will soon be required to significantly increase the rigor and cut scores of all state assessments.

"We're pleased with the performance on the 2013 CRCTs, but we know that as new federal criteria for state tests come into play in 2014-15, the expectations to meet standards will significantly increase," said Superintendent Barge. "The new cut scores will likely result in fewer students meeting and/or exceeding standards, but that is common when you change to a new and more rigorous test."