CRCT scores show improvement

Suburban schools and some that struggled in past do well on tests.

Two schools —- Kittredge Magnet for High Achievers in DeKalb County and Marietta Center for Advanced Academics in Marietta —- logged some of the best results on this year's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

Both had 100 percent passing rates for some grades on all the tests. For Kittredge, it was on the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade tests. Marietta's was on the third- and fifth-grade tests.

Emily Lembeck, superintendent of Marietta City Schools, said magnet schools like hers typically score high.

"However, looking at these results, I am very proud to see outstanding educators challenging capable students," she said. "I just believe it's very high-level and engaging instruction, and these students are very tuned in to what is being taught."

Other schools in districts that have struggled to meet the state average also made strong showings. For example, Atlanta's Benteen and Blalock elementary schools were among the state's top performers on third-grade reading on the CRCT, with 100 percent passing rates.

Blalock had a 100 percent passing rate on third-grade math, as well.

By contrast, the Atlanta school system as a whole had an 84 percent passing rate on third-grade reading; the statewide rate was 88 percent. Tuesday's release of the school-by-school results is something closely watched by parents and administrators because of the weight the CRCT carries on everything from student promotions to funding.

Third-graders can't advance without passing the reading test, and students in grades 5 and 8 must pass the reading and math tests for promotion. Scores on the math, reading and English tests also help determine whether schools meet the goals set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Schools that repeatedly fail face increasingly severe sanctions, from being required to offer free tutoring to a possible takeover by the state.

Last year, parents were stunned by some of the high failure rates on middle-school math and social studies tests.

State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox threw out scores from the sixth- and seventh-grade social studies exams, which about 71 percent of the sixth-graders and about 76 percent of the seventh-graders failed.

Statewide and systemwide results for this year's CRCT were released in the past few weeks and, with few exceptions, showed steady improvement over last year's scores and strong performances overall in suburban counties, such as Forsyth County.

The new results showed some big gains. For example, in Cherokee County, 85.1 percent of fifth-graders passed the math test this year, compared with 60.5 percent last year.

The fifth-grade math score at Holly Springs Elementary also jumped significantly, from 74.2 percent passing to 89.6 percent passing.

The scores released Tuesday could change when scores from this summer's retests are ultimately added.

Last summer's retest results from some schools could be thrown out based on findings of a preliminary investigation by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement. The investigation found that retest results from last summer may have been altered at four schools —- including three in the metro area: DeKalb County's Atherton Elementary, Atlanta's Deerwood Academy and Fulton County's Parklane Elementary.

Which schools fared best in metro area

The Georgia Department of Education released official individual school results on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests on Tuesday.

Third-graders must pass the reading exam for promotion. Students in grades 5 and 8 must pass the reading and math tests for promotion. The percentage listed is the passing rate; more school results are on ajc.com.

Reading / Grade 3

District School %

Atlanta Benteen 100

Atlanta Blalock 100

Cobb Mount Bethel 100

Cobb Rocky Mount 100

Cobb Tritt 100

DeKalb Ashford Park 100

DeKalb Austin 100

DeKalb Fernbank 100

Forsyth Daves Creek 100

Forsyth Settles Bridge 100

Forsyth Sharon 100

Fulton Mountain Park 100

Marietta Adv. Academics 100

Reading / Grade 5 District School %

Atlanta Capitol View 100

Atlanta West Manor 100

Cobb Mount Bethel 100

Cobb Shallowford Falls 100

Cobb Timber Ridge 100

Cobb Tritt 100

DeKalb Chesnut 100

DeKalb Kittredge 100

DeKalb Wadsworth 100

Forsyth Sharon 100

Fulton Shakerag 100

Marietta Adv. Academics 100

Reading / Grade 8 District School %

Atlanta KIPP West Atlanta 100

Cobb Dodgen Middle 100

Cobb Hightower Trail 99.7

Cobb Imagine Internat. 100

Cobb Simpson 100

DeKalb DeKalb Academy 100

DeKalb DeKalb School 100

Forsyth Riverwatch 99.7

Fulton Amana 100

Fulton Fulton Science 100

Fulton Webb Bridge 99.8

Math / Grade 3

District School %

Atlanta Blalock 100

Atlanta Jackson 98.7

Cobb Murdock 97.9

Cobb Timber Ridge 98.5

Cobb Tritt 98.5

Fulton Mountain Park 98.1

Fulton New Prospect 99.1

Fulton Shakerag 97.8

Gwin. Simpson 98.8

Marietta Adv. Academics 100

Math / Grade 5

District School %

Atlanta Capitol View 100

Atlanta West Manor 100

Cobb Ford 99.4

Cobb Shallowford Falls 100

DeKalb Austin 99.1

DeKalb Kittredge 100

DeKalb Wadsworth 100

Forsyth Daves Creek 99.3

Fulton Shakerag 100

Marietta Adv. Academics 100

Math / Grade 8

District School %

Cobb Dickerson 97.3

Cobb Dodgen 95.5

Cobb Hightower Trail 96.2

Cobb Mabry 95.5

DeKalb DeKalb Academy 95.7

Forsyth Liberty 96.8

Forsyth Riverwatch 96.8

Forsyth South Forsyth 96

Fulton Webb Bridge 96.2

Gwin. Frank N Osborne 96.1

Source: Georgia Department of Education

Compiled by Matthew Dempsey

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