508 kids study to pass CRCT and get promoted

Tue, 06/03/2008 - 3:59pm
By: Ben Nelms

For 508 Fayette children, school is still in session. Depending on their successful studies is promotion to the next higher grade.

Preliminary results of the eighth-grade CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests) math test required for promotion to ninth grade showed that 80 percent of Fayette students met the standard for promotion, but that left the remaining 20 percent, or 338 students, needing to re-take the test with a passing score before the school year begins in August.

To that end, 265 eighth-graders have signed up for math remediation sessions that began Monday at J.C. Booth Middle School, according to Fayette schools spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.

Remediation is not mandatory to take the re-test, she said, noting that there may be students intending to take the test who are not attending the summer session.

Berry-Dreisbach attributed the lower pass rate in math to a tougher curriculum and a more rigorous test to match. Up until last year, only a small number of students were exposed to algebra in the eighth grade, she said. This year every eighth-grader is taking algebra as well as statistics and geometry, said Berry-Dreisbach.

Remediation sessions are also being held for fifth-grade math. Crabapple Lane is serving 51 students in fifth-grade math, while Fayetteville Intermediate has 68 students attending the sessions.

The retest in fifth- and eighth-grade math will be administered on June 25.

A smaller group of students are attending remediation sessions for reading. Crabapple Lane has 22 students attending in third-grade reading and 20 students in fifth-grade reading.

Fayetteville Intermediate has 27 students signed for third-grade reading and 23 students for fifth-grade reading. J.C. Booth has 32 students taking remediation classes for eighth-grade reading.

The retest in third-, fifth-, and eighth-grade reading will be administered on June 24.

Fayette sixth- and seventh-grade students mirrored those statewide in performing poorly on the CRCT Social Studies component. Unofficial figures showed that more than 55 percent of Fayette students did not meet the standard.

Passing the social studies test was not a requirement for promotion to the next grade level and remediation classes were not offered.

State School Superintendent Kathy Cox has voided that test, in effect saying that the scores don’t count.

The Georgia Department of Education announced last week that a panel is being formed to determine the cause of the poor performance on the Social Studies component.

Fayette schools Social Studies Coordinator Cathy Geis was one of those selected to serve on the statewide panel.

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Submitted by spectator on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 10:42pm.

The Reading First Program is a federal program to help states and local school districts eliminate the reading deficit by establishing high-quality, comprehensive reading instruction in grades kindergarten through grade 3.The program is designed to select, implement, and provide professional development for teachers using SBRR programs and to ensure accountability through ongoing, valid and reliable screening, diagnostic, and classroom-based assessment

The United States Department of Education, Office of Inspector General
did an audit, entitled Review of the Georgia Reading First Program, to determine whether the Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) (1) developed and used criteria for selecting the scientifically based reading research (SBRR) programs in accordance with the law and regulations; and (2) approved the local education agencies’ (LEA) applications in accordance with the law and regulations.The audit covered the period May 1, 2002, through September 30, 2005. The Dept. of Education awarded GDOE about $90.8 million in Reading First funds during the audit period.

The findings were:
1. GDOE did not have written policies and procedures in place and did not adequately manage several areas of the LEA (local education agency) grant application process.GDOE’s policies and procedures for implementing the Reading First program were primarily based on the memory of the Reading First staff and were not always consistently applied.
2.There was no assurance that Grant Reviewer Qualifications met experienc requirements.The GDOE official responsible for overseeing the contracting of the grant reviewers stated that GDOE did not have time to verify all of the qualifications of grant application reviewers.
3.Adequate guidance was not provided to grant reviewers and grant reviewers’ comments were not reviewed.
4.LEA private school consultation was not verified or documented.

In addition,the program, which was intended to ensure that all lower-income children learned to read, awarded grants to states to buy reading textbooks and tests. It turned out to be a bonanza for certain textbook publishers and authors. A half-dozen experts setting guidelines for which reading textbooks and tests could be purchased by schools were also the authors of textbooks and tests that ended up being used.

Submitted by tc on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 10:13pm.

Not to be too negative, but how is the summer school program any different than the program that has been shoved down the kids' thoats all year long??? If it didn't work the first time, why will it work now? The concept of children and/or people learning in different ways has been around for a long time. Clearly, there are multiple issues about these tests and scores, so why are they children bearing the brunt of the sins of the adults?

Submitted by sageadvice on Wed, 06/04/2008 - 3:35am.

In my opinion if the students who failed to pass the test the first time attend summer school to study for the test, they will be passed whether or not they pass the test!
Isn't this what has always been done in one fashion or another?
The tests aren't important--what is important is that we are leveling learning to suit everyone's ability.
The point we are missing is that it may be alright to give everyone some kind of diploma, but some diplomas are for one thing and some are for another!
An attendance diploma would not get you into MIT!

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