School-by-school CRCT results for 2011 released

Metro Atlanta schools saw mixed results on this year's CRCT, with some seeing scores tumble and others claiming big payoffs from extra attention given to struggling students.

The state Department of Education released school-by-school results for the 2011 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests on Wednesday, one day after Gov. Nathan Deal announced that an investigation showed 44 Atlanta schools and 178 of its teachers and principals had cheated on past CRCTs.

Last month, the DOE released this year's statewide CRCT results, which showed smaller improvement in reading, English/language arts, science and social studies, and slightly better scores on math.

The new data show some schools posting drastic changes from 2010 -- some good, some bad. All results are closely watched, given that CRCT results help determine whether schools and school districts make Adequate Yearly Progress, a benchmark of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

To be automatically promoted to the next grade, students have to pass five of the CRCT tests -- reading for third-, fifth- and eighth-graders, and math for fifth- and eighth-graders.

At Atlanta's F.L. Stanton Elementary School, 31.8 percent of third-graders passed this year's CRCT math test, compared with 55.5 percent in 2010.

But 66 percent of the third-graders at the city’s White Elementary School passed the math test, compared with 27.4 percent last year.

Three metro Atlanta elementary schools saw all their third-graders pass math this year: Head Elementary School in Gwinnett County, Mountain Park Elementary School in Fulton County and Sharon Elementary School in Forsyth County.

Fifth-graders did better, with 21 schools showing all students passing the math test. Middle schools didn't do as well, though Riverwatch Middle School in Forsyth County came close with a 99.5 percent passing rate.

Cherokee County's Teasley Middle School saw across-the-board gains, most notably in math.

The percentage of Teasley students passing the eighth-grade math test jumped from 68.8 percent in 2010 to 84.1 percent, a gain of 15.3 percentage points, after the school district homed in on troubles the school's students were having with three CRCT test subjects -- math, reading and language arts -- and teachers pitched in, principal Susan Zinkil said.

The school leadership team devised a plan to incorporate a second math and/or reading class into the school day. Then two months before the CRCT was given, math, reading and language arts teachers gave up their planning periods to tutor students who previous testing showed were going to have difficulty taking the CRCT, Zinkil said.

Gwinnett County's Osborne Middle School, traditionally one of the state's top performers, closed the achievement gap between white, black and Hispanic students this year. In reading/English language arts, for example, 99.1 percent of all Osborne students passed, including 100 percent of all Hispanics, 99.2 of all African-Americans and 92.2 percent of all students with disabilities.

"There is no magic bullet," principal John Campbell said. "This is good solid teaching, and it has been a process. It has been seven years."

The A+ Education Reform Act of 2000 required all students in grades one through eight to take the CRCT in the content areas of reading, English/language arts and mathematics. Students in grades three through eight are also assessed in science and social studies, all based on the Georgia Performance Standards.

This year, due to the state's budget crunch, the test was not given to first- and second-graders.

Look for your school's scores at www.ajc.com/go/2011crct .

Staff writers Pete Corson and John Perry contributed to this article.