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Barrow CRCT results show strengths, weaknesses

POSTED: June 29, 2014 12:00 p.m.

The Barrow County School System’s third through eighth graders on average made gains from year-to-year on the state’s final Criterion-Reinforced Competency Test.

District results were released Wednesday, with school-level results likely to be released in the coming weeks. It’s the last time there will be results from the CRCT because next year all students in grades 3-8 and at the high school level will take the new GA Milestones test which has just been developed.

Barrow Director of Student Services Matt Thompson said the district is on the whole pleased with much of the results, but there is still much work to be done to get more students exceeding rather than just merely passing compared to the state average.

"In general we are pretty pleased with our results. Our pass and exceed rates were, pretty much across the board, higher than previous years. That continuing upward trend of pass rates is a good marker and one we are proud of," Thompson said. "On the other hand, as you can see in the state comparisons on percentage of students exceeding, despite making progress from previous years, we still have a long way to go in the area of extending students beyond mere competency and just minimally "meeting" standards. I know that is something Dr. McMichael is passionate about and it will be a major focus going forward as it has been in the past."

The two sides are reflected in the results. Combining all grades together for each subject, only in math was there a small gain in the pass rate (meet and exceeds). Reading rose from 94.9 percent in 2013 to 95.9; English language arts 92.2-92.4; science 80.4-82; and social studies 83.8-85.6. Math dropped to 87.1 from 87.4.

Again with all grades combined, Barrow students scored above the state average on all of those subject save for English language arts, in which students merely tied the state average.

However, looking at students who simply exceeded paints the district in a different light, especially compared to the state as a whole.

Year-to year, more students in Barrow exceeded this year in four of five categories, including in reading (41.5 percent to 46.4), math (36.8-38.1), science (32.3-34.2) and social studies (32.6-37.2). The number of students who exceeded in ELA dropped from 35.5-34.1.

Compared to the state average, however, Barrow students exceeded at a higher rate only in science (34 percent to 32). Barrow students exceeded at the same rate as the state in math (38 percent), but were lower in reading (48-46), ELA (38-34) and social studies (38-37).

Still, overall it’s a positive result for the system thanks to the positive trends year-to-year, and Thompson credited the teachers, students and parents with making the difference.

"Overall a lot of hard work from teachers, students, and parents went into furthering the trend of more and more students each year meeting standards," he said. "We just need to keep pushing to make sure we help our students reach their fullest potential and flourish in their academic performance.

"A lot of results to be proud of but of course much more work to do."



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