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CRCT Scores Increase in All Areas (Updated 7/7)

 MEDIA CONTACT :  - GaDOE Communications office, (404) 463-1487, dtofig@gadoe.org  - Follow us on Twitter  @GaDOEnews  or on  Facebook       June 5, 2009  -- Test scores for Georgia’s elementary and middle school students improved in all areas this year, but most dramatically in the crucial subjects of mathematics and science.     Students posted gains on all 14 of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) in mathematics and science, all of which are aligned to Georgia’s more rigorous curriculum.     “The 2009 CRCT results are very encouraging and show that our students are learning more advanced concepts and are able to apply that knowledge properly,” said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. “Our elementary and middle school teachers should feel very proud today – they are getting the job done!”     The biggest one-year gain on any of the CRCTs was in eighth-grade math: The pass rate was 70 percent, an increase of eight percentage points.     “Our new grade 8 math curriculum is very rigorous, but our teachers and students are embracing the rigor and are making tremendous progress,” Superintendent Cox said. “Even more encouraging is the rise in the number of students who are scoring at higher levels on the exam.” The percentage of grade 8 students scoring in the “exceeds” category also jumped eight points to 23 percent.     The CRCTs are curriculum-based tests given to students in grades 1-8 in the subjects of reading, English language arts, mathematics and – in grades 3-8 – science and social studies. As Georgia has rolled out its new curriculum, the Georgia Performance Standards, more rigorous tests have been created and administered. This year, for the first time, all the CRCTs are aligned to the new curriculum. The statewide results are reported in three categories – the percentage of students that did not meet standards, met standards or exceeded standards.     Other highlights from the 2009 CRCT report include:      - A five (5) percentage point jump in the pass rate for science in grades 3 and 5. In third grade, 80 percent of the students met or exceeded standards on the science CRCT and in fifth grade 76 percent.      - Reading and English language arts performance remained high and improved in almost every grade, with 89 percent of seventh-graders meeting standards on both tests. In sixth-grade, the pass rate was 90 percent in reading and 91 percent in English.     - This is the first year students in grades 3-5 took the social studies CRCT aligned to the new curriculum. The pass rate was over 70 percent for each grade.    Closing the Gap      When the results of the 2009 CRCT are broken down, it’s clear that students in Georgia’s largest subgroups continue to make tremendous progress.     “Scores are rising for all students,” said Superintendent Cox, “but our English Language Learner, African-American and Hispanic students are improving faster than the rest of the state and are closing the achievement gap. There is still work to be done, but the progress is undeniable.”     Among the highlights of the 2009 CRCT report:      - English Language Learners (ELL) made dramatic gains in mathematics. The pass rate for ELLs jumped 11 points in one year on the third- and fifth-grade math CRCT and eight points in grade 8 mathematics.      - Since the roll out of the state’s new curriculum, African-American students have closed the achievement gap on almost every test when compared to the performance of Caucasian students. For example, in just three years, the gap has closed nine points in fifth-grade science and eight points in seventh-grade mathematics.      - Hispanic students are closing the achievement gap faster than any other group when compared to the performance of Caucasian students. In just three years, Hispanic students have closed the gap 12 percentage points in third-grade science and over the past four years have closed the gap 12 points in grade 5 English language arts.    Promotion/Retention      Scores went up in all grades and content areas where students must pass to automatically be promoted to the next grade level.     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.     Results from the 2009 CRCT report:      - Third-grade scores increased one (1) percentage point from last year to 88% in reading.      - Fifth-grade scores increased one (1) percentage point from last year to 88% in reading, and seven (7) percentage points to 79% in mathematics.      - Eighth-grade scores increased two (2) percentage points from last year to 93% in reading, and eight (8) percentage points to 70% in mathematics.    More Information :   CRCT Scores and Charts   State-, System- and School-level Scores   CRCT Website   Promotion/Retention Policy     Development of Standardized Tests  (Video)