CRCT scores go up

The Georgia Department of Education just released this year’s CRCT results.

Scores went up across the board leading State school Superintendent Kathy Cox to call the results “very encouraging.

One of the biggest gains — 8th grade math. This year 70 percent passed, an eight percentage point increase from last year. Still, that means 30 percent failed.

What do you think of the results? Any surprises?

53 comments Add your comment

catlady

June 5th, 2009
12:58 pm

THE TESTS HAVE BEEN DUMBED DOWN (at least in the grades I know about), so no surprises. And you can always adjust the cut scores. Again, with the outcry, no surprises.

jim d

June 5th, 2009
1:00 pm

Same boring blog topics year in and year out.

Laura, how about throwing us a bone now and again on stories like this one http://news.aol.com/article/students-teachers-oust-calif-towns/492485?icid=sphere_newsaol_inpage so we can discuss real actions that can be taken to improve education?

gadem

June 5th, 2009
2:19 pm

Catlady, if what you say are true? The GADOE is really doing a disservice to these kids because the are not being prepared for college…some colleges don’t care about you unless you are a star athlete.

BadDaddy

June 5th, 2009
2:27 pm

Look for all those 8th graders to get about 470 on a real test, the SAT math section, in about three years after which they will graduate with straight A’s in math and go to UGA on the HOPE, where they will be placed in remedial math and flunk out by the third semester. That’s what happens when you put 6th grade math questions on the 8th grade CRCT and call a cut score of 36% passing for the greater glory of Kathy Cox.

ant banks

June 5th, 2009
2:29 pm

education in the usa is a joke. all of the research say:

1. students need to be in school 200+ days, instead of the 180 that we currently have.

2. class size needs to be maxed at 20 students per class.

3. students need to be in uniforms!!

4. special education students should not have to be tested on their grade level!! (if an 8th grade, spec. ed students is functioning on a 5th grade level, he is required to take the 8th grade test.) if you look at most schools that do not make AYP, it is usually this special education sub group that snags them.

these changes would show that the US is SERIOUS about education. 1,2, and 4 would require more money. if you want dump more money into the problem then you are not serious about it!!

you give failing car companies billions of dollars, along with the banking industry, but refuse to bail out education!!!

hamsamich

June 5th, 2009
2:33 pm

You people just like to gripe! Anyone remember how last year all of the teachers were complaining that the Curriculum that they were given by the state to teach did NOT have lessons that the students were tested on? How do you expect a student to do well on a test about information that they have never learned? They cahnged the Curriculum and there is an immediate improvement…yet everyone will still complain.

Home Schooler

June 5th, 2009
3:03 pm

Two years ago my wife & I began home schooling our grand children through Georgia Virtual Academy. We chose GVA because they are very structured & have an excellent program of support.

My wife & I spend 5 – 6 hours almost everyday in classroom study. We don’t take summer breaks although we scale back in the summer. Being an old farm boy I remember the ONLY reason for summer vacation was for us to work on farm jobs like planting & harvesting. How many do that today?

GVA students must take CRCT tests. Our grand children met or exceeded testing both years.

If anyone THINKS the tests are dumbed down I would invite them to find the online study material & take a practice exam or two. I have thousands of hours spent in the venue of formal education & I found the practice exams pretty tough.

Now I’d like to address the issue of public schooling. LACK OF MONEY IS NOT THE PROBLEM!

At some point WE the PEOPLE must demand teachers, trained to teach, BE GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO TEACH & not be told what to do by adnministrative types & whining parents.

Old School

June 5th, 2009
3:04 pm

Perhaps all our students need is a crash course in “How to Christmas Tree More Effectively.”

jim d

June 5th, 2009
3:33 pm

hamsamich,

WE People gripe because after nearly 200 years –public education still ain’t got it right!

thomas

June 5th, 2009
3:36 pm

Dxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!! Talk about cooking the books!!!!! When I heard about how well our super dumb ghetto middle schoolers did on the CRCT, I knew the fix was in. I talking about a group of students who do NOTHING in school, fail (or almost fail) every class, every semester. Yet they past the CRCT. I am talking about students who can barely speak English passing the CRCT. Ridiculous!!!! I know for a FACT that most of the students at my school don’t know crap. So how can you have 80% of non-studying, non homework doing, no classwork doing thugs pass ANY CRCT?

Bullet

June 5th, 2009
3:48 pm

Ant Banks, Please stop drinking the cool-aid. Increasing school days, lowering class size to 20, giving teachers more money, and uniforms make very little to no difference in the education of our children. Teachers make the difference. A good teacher will improve learning every time. A bad teacher hurts learning. The answer to the problem is to improve the quality of our teachers. This could be done by weeding out the bad ones. Most companies cut the bottom 5-10% every year so that they constantly improve. This could be done in our schools if the unions and administration had a backbone.

Don’t just take my word on this, as the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation recently completed a 2 Billion with a capital “B” study and found that good teachers were the answer. They went into the studing thinking that class size and school size were the answer but they were wrong. Please remember that the Gates foundation tends to lean to the left in their agenda, so for them to say the opposite is a big thing.

ant banks

June 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

BULLET,

thanks for the info. i am very familiar with the gates foundation. i like to have intellectual discourse rather than people spewin’ out garbage.

the reason that i said a 200 day calendar is that is what they do in asia. they don’t get 10 weeks off in the summer. jus’ like gramps mentioned above, the reason that we have summers off is because it was used to farm. this school calendar that we used is antiquated. it is based on the agrarian cycle, when our ancestors used to farm the land.

i don’t care how good of a teacher you are, 32 students in a class is not conducive to learning. now imagine, if you will, what an outstanding teacher can do with a class size of 20 kids, instead of 32.

BULLET-how did i mislead you into thinkin’ that great teachers are not apart of the solution? great teachers get frustrated with red tape, apathetic parents and students, and beauracracy.

Bullet

June 5th, 2009
4:20 pm

Class size is not the issue. I would say 32 students in a high school class would be fine. 15 students in some 1st grade clsses may be too much (just my guess for class size, I do not have any facts to back it up). The problem is people spouting garbage that says 20 students is the max. Schools need uniforms, going from 180 to 200 days of school is needed, when we do not have facts to back it up. The recent Gates study I quoted says class size is not the issue. A good teacher will improve a bad class 1.5 grade levels in a year. A bad teacher will hold a class back 1/2 a grade level in a year, regardless of class size or even teacher training. The system needs to cut the bad teachers out. Schools need to take advantage of this recession and cut the bad teachers (not the most recently hired).

It is good to hear that we all agree that a good teacher makes all the difference. Now we need to agree as to what defines a good teacher This is where the problem lies. Good teachers may not even have a teaching certificate. They may be tne engineer or accountant next door.

Fulton Teacher

June 5th, 2009
4:20 pm

No surprise to me that scores have increased. We spend an inordinate amount of time prepping students for ths test. Children no longer get recess, kindergarteners are denied naps and creativity has been thrown out the window. My son’s school focused solely on the CRCT, which is why their writing test scores were so low. It’s ridiculous. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…this system will never be fixed.

ScienceTeacher671

June 5th, 2009
7:46 pm

BadDaddy’s got it, I think. If you look at the ITBS scores of the students who made a minimum passing grade on the 8th grade CRCT last year, you’ll find they were working at about a 4th grade level compared to students nationally.

I don’t know what percentage of the questions need to be answered correctly on the CRCT to obtain a passing grade, but on the physical science EOCT it is 44% – a student who answers 65% of the questions correctly “exceeds expectations”. Yes, Ms. Cox, we’re really setting some high expectations for our students!

What makes a good teacher

June 5th, 2009
9:45 pm

Want a good teacher? Simple. Restore the d-i-s-c-i-p-l-i-n-e.

Sure, most failings school has a bad teacher or two that need to be dealt with. But, in those same schools every class has two or three that aren’t being dealt with, who drag down the efforts of even the best teachers.

Unfortunately people neither people on the left side of the spectrum or right side of the spectrum are willing to address this.

You can point to plenty of failing schools where everything under the sun, including replacing staff has been done, and the school is still failing.

But I challenge anyone to point to a school, where the teacher’s authority is backed up without exception, without fail, and the school is failing. Doesn’t take $2 billion to figure out the answer. Just takes backbone, something our nation is sorely lacking.

TW

June 5th, 2009
10:43 pm

Questioning the validity of teacher to student ratio an an integral part of education disqualifies one from the debate.

Smaller class size is a fundamental.

ant banks hits it on the head with the coment on our willingness to bail-out the car companies, but not the schools. The American school system is part of the government, and the people of a democracy get the government they deserve.

Thus, the schools struggle because our electorate doesn’t want to pay for them – simple as that. We know the research, what will work, but we’re to ungrateful to pay our taxes – especially in the South where the schools comparitively suck.

It’s a real shame for the kids, as they didn’t ask to be birthed by a bunch of ingrates.

ScienceTeacher671

June 6th, 2009
6:36 am

Amazing how the “best” private schools have student-teacher ratios half those of the public schools, and the tuition cost per student is three times that of the public schools’ per pupil expenditures, yet people still claim that class sizes don’t matter and public education costs too much.

Has anyone here actually read a real study that shows class size makes no difference, or has everyone making that claim simply read on some pundit’s website somewhere that “research says” this?

Public school parent

June 6th, 2009
10:08 am

DeKalb County has not released scores and may not do so until July. I presume this is because DeKalb and other systems want to get the summer school re-testing done and only release these scores. I am curious about how our metro school systems did on the intital round of CRCT tests.

The CRCT scores are meaningless to parents because the test questions and cut scores are all manipulated by the state. Plus, it is true that teaching has been reduced to teach-to-the-test. The ONLY scores that responsible parents care about are the ITBS, SAT and ACT.

I agree that the school year needs to be longer. (And get rid of the unnecessary integrated math high school courses or offer traditional courses as an option). But if we could eliminate all the wasted time spent taking the CRCT tests, benchmark testing, pre-tests, post tests, etc. then teachers would gain some valuable instruction time.

Cathy Cox and Sue Snow – I hope you are reading this.

Dr. Craig Spinks /Evans

June 6th, 2009
10:56 am

ScienceTeacher671, you know too much about standardized testing. Don’t let our state’s self-serving, money-grubbing, education-related acronyms find out who you are. Your teaching “career will be ruined.” (The quote is part of what Humpty Dumpty told me as we sat in her office in a GA HS in December 1999. Of course, her prediction wasn’t the only thing HD was wrong about.)

Ernest

June 6th, 2009
12:31 pm

I personally take the results of the CRCT with a grain of salt. No give me the results from the ITBS and then we can chat. I believe more meaningful analysis can be done with that.

I think back to what a former frequent blogger would ask for, reading bootcamps in the lower grades. If you can’t read, it is hard to do well in the other subjects also.

Ernest

June 6th, 2009
12:31 pm

I meant to say, Now give me the results….

Teachers remember King Rat Roy

June 6th, 2009
7:42 pm

Has anybody seen the quote from King Rat Roy in the AJC, where he refers to a recent conversation with a group of teachers?

And I (King Rat Roy) said, ‘What did I do wrong?’ One teacher said, ‘Well, we were talking about that before you got here. We knew we were mad at you, but we can’t remember why.’ “

Don’t remember King Rat Roy? Three words: FAIR DISMISSAL RIGHTS!

And of course you have GAE head Jeff Hubbard trying to rehabilitate Roy-instead of putting him on notice that GAE that they will stand tall for teachers-by saying in the same article “I think he’s learned his lesson.”

Why am I not surprised?

ScienceTeacher671

June 6th, 2009
11:01 pm

Isn’t King Roy the one who loudly proclaimed that he didn’t need the votes of teachers to get re-elected?

ScienceTeacher671

June 6th, 2009
11:22 pm

Dr. Craig, thanks, I’ll watch my back! ;-)

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has also studied Georgia’s testing program…and found we had some of the lowest standards in the nation…

Reality 2

June 7th, 2009
9:28 am

ant banks,

It’s true that in many Asian countries, children do go to schools 200+ days. However, many of those days do not include any academic instruction. Furthermore, it is also the case that many of those Asian countries have much larger class sizes. Some of Asian schools have uniforms and others don’t. In some Asian countries, special needs students are mainstreamed AND social promotion is the norm.

So, what are the evidences that support that the four points you list will improve education?

Not so fast

June 7th, 2009
2:34 pm

Before we blame American teachers for not doing what their Asian counterparts do, let’s ask if it’s a common occurrence in Asian schools to let students verbally abuse, threaten, and even physically assault teachers, all without consequence?

Does it really take “educational research” to figure out what the problem is? Or does it just take backbone to address it?

FLAWoodLayer

June 7th, 2009
5:50 pm

It comes down to training teachers better and for teachers to simply do their job to some degree. For one with the social studies scores last year, how would the teachers know what was on the test and whether it matched the standards? Teachers are not supposed to look at or discuss test results with students. Teachers did not teach the state standards bottom line or simply did a poor job of doing it. The tests are dumbed down. I know because I am a teacher and I have students that did not do jack all year and passed the EOCT in Am. History. How did they pass? I taught the state standards and they were bound to soak something in. If you teach what is on the test you should at least get a 75% pass rate.
Another problem is that this is one of the laziest groups of students I have ever taught. They are not asked to do much in terms of effort and the rigor is lax in modern education. When you up the ante on the students parents complain that their little angel is getting too much work. The schools that work have teachers that provide rigorous instruction, parents that are informed and supportive, and students that put forth effort. Sadly, this is not the case in too many schools. Money will not solve the problem. Everything I mentioned above requires none. Teachers can get better professional development by asking teachers what they need instead of forcing professional development down the throats of educators. This requires no added revenue.

john

June 7th, 2009
6:25 pm

why should anyone be surprized about standardized test over the past couple of years. Ms cox has found a sure fire way for them to pass. dumb down the test so most students will ppass. Thats whats happened to the high school graduation test . make the test easier

Steve

June 7th, 2009
6:37 pm

So much is blown out of proportion. Starting at the top. JimD – what does a teacher fired for cheating on college courses have to do with the CRCT? In Georgia, the same thing happens. I do not think that replacing school boards will solve the problem when it starts at a much higher governmental level. Baddaddy – where did you get the cut score? Are you sure of your figures? Longer days, uniforms, outscored by other countries – just a rehash of old arguments. It is frustrating when US student scores are compared to other countries. I have lived in Japan and Germany for extended periods. They have their own way of improving cut scores and that is limiting who tests and who loses out. In Germany students are split at the 8th grade into college prep or vocational. Only college prep gets to test and in the US all students test. So, they test only their best and we allow everyone to have a chance. Great comparison. Foreign countries do not build in chances for a person to get a degree while the US has many alternative means to progress (tech colleges, community colleges, GED, etc.). We do have problems but give a realistic method to fix. King Roy put two lawyers and a businessman in charge of fixing education and we wonder why we have problems. Why not put teachers in charge of fixing the legal system or wall street? How about having a starting point? Pressure and demand that DOE release the CRCT every year so that everyone can see what is on the test? Other states do this with no problems. Why not Georgia? Then you can see what is on the test and compare to other states that are “ranked” higher than Georgia. How about forcing DOE to release the EI (ease index) and DI (differentiation index) on each test question with percentages? Finally, just how important is the CRCT? How many are held back for not passing? How many are socially promoted? Do you really want a 16 year old boy in class with your 12 year old daughter? What are you going to do with the 16 year old when he does not meet requirements for going to the next grade? Not let them get a driver’s license because they quit school? They drive anyway without a license or insurance so is this a penalty? I once had a principal tell me that there were no real tech classes in middle school (wood shop, metal shop, home ec, etc.) due to channeling low performing students into those classes instead of college prep classes. If true, how are you going to improve on the current results?

Courtney

June 7th, 2009
6:40 pm

The CRCT is rediculous. You are judging the state using its own test. They can make the scores do anything they want. I agree that the COGAT & ITBS are much better at evaluating where we are. I know that my curriculum, 6th Social Studies, is still a HUGE mess. Half of the state workers could be fired tomorrow down at DOE and no one would ever miss them. Hire more teachers and reduce class sizes if you want results.

Dondee

June 7th, 2009
6:55 pm

Home schooler, I like what you say! Yes, let us teach, take out the discipline problems and see what happens! I think there would be marked improvement>>>>>

Dondee

June 7th, 2009
7:01 pm

And, not so fast, you hit the nail on the proverbial head. Get rid of those students who interrupt, disrupt and otherwise don’t want to be in class. If I didn’t have to spend time addressing unruly students, more time would be spent on teaching and learning. A

Pop Corn

June 7th, 2009
7:10 pm

Genetics and cheating. The reason and the answer.

benman

June 7th, 2009
7:16 pm

Georgia does whatever it takes……to make everyone feel good. 36% is the cut off on passing or failing the CRCT. Where else in life does this happen? Teachers teach the test (standards), the curriculum has been dumbed down sooooo much it’s pathetic. All in an effort to make students, parents, school boards and state department of education feel good about results. I’ve taught in 4 states. Georgia is the only state I’ve taught in where students can just show up and excel. 36%…yeehaw!

MountainMama

June 7th, 2009
8:41 pm

I am proud to say I am the mother of a student who has met and mostly exceeded in all areas of the CRCT every year she has taken it. This year in particular, she absolutely tore up the Reading, Language Arts and Math sections, missing only a couple of questions in each. She “met” expectations in Social Studies and Science….which tells me that there are still some issues with those particular sections…namely that what is being taught in the 8th grade curriculum is NOT the same as the information they are being tested on. The Reading, Lang. Arts & for the most part, the Math sections are “cumulative” and build on what skills/competencies they have learned each year. The SS & Science sections are obviously CONTENT based….as is evidenced by her scores. If she’s been exposed to/taught the info, she would score well; if she hasn’t been exposed to/taught the content, it’s difficult to know the material covered on the CRCT otherwise. She is a STRAIGHT A student…all 3 years in middle school and all thru her elementary years as well….so I feel (as a former middle school teacher myself) that my assessment that there needs to be more alignment of content taught & content tested using the CRCT, especially in the areas of SS & Science.
Oh…and my daughter also made a PERFECT score on the 8th Grade Writing Assessment….so I feel she’s getting a good education from the Towns County School System!! Thanks to all the teachers who have gotten her through elementary & middle school. We are both looking forward to 4 successful years in high school too!

Kate

June 7th, 2009
10:54 pm

I have been teaching for years. Class size does not matter. Discipline matters. I have had classes of 18 and classes of 32 and both have excelled. However, I believe in structure and discipline. I set the highest of expectations for my students, no matter what their level when they enter my classroom in August. Students will learn at the level you teach at. It’s time that more schools stop giving in to parents and take care of the discipline issues!

reality check

June 8th, 2009
10:56 am

Not So Fast,

Unfortunately, even in those “ideal” classrooms in the US, students aren’t necessarily doing as well as their Asian counterparts.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Evans, GA

June 8th, 2009
5:55 pm

ScienceTeacher671, I will, too.

FLAWoodLayer

June 8th, 2009
11:01 pm

Congrats on your daughter MountainMama but STRAIGHT A’s in today’s schools means absolutely nothing. Just check the AJC archives on schools giving A’s and those same students failing End Of Course Tests and taking remedial classes as freshmen in college. A’s mean nothing. Again, I teach average students who performed well on the US History EOCT and the GHSGT. I taught what the state wanted me to teach and they did well. Why would the CRCTs be different?

Martha

June 8th, 2009
11:33 pm

MOUNTAINMOMMA brings up an unintended point.
There are some students, sometimes many students, in most, if not all classes who do well on the CRCT, ITBS, CAT, SAT and any other standardized test given in public schools.
That brings up the sensitve and politically INcorrect question……”If there are students in a given classroom …..[let's say 1/3 to 1/2 of them ]… who actually learn/master the material, doesn’t that mean that the teacher must have actually taught the material?”????????? Maybe it’s not the fault of the teacher in that classroom. Maybe it ISN’T that we need a teacher of better quality. Maybe we need students of better quality!!!!! Just a little something to think about.

Dr. John Trotter

June 9th, 2009
10:18 am

The standardized tests themselves become the curricula. Everything is geared toward passing the tests. Everything else (creativity, writing skills, appreciation for world literature, U. S. History, etc.) takes a back-seat role, especially with the CRCT which is, by the way, a criterion-referenced test which means the State establishes the criterion to be learned. This “criterion” is often watered-down, as several posters have already noted. If the State really (not just politically) wanted to know how well Georgia students were doing, then the students would be given norn-referenced tests. Then, we would know how well our students are doing compared to students in other parts of the country — or the world, for that matter. Standardized testing is a big game…and a big industry. Don’t expect it to end any time soon. There is virtually always a one-to-one relationship between the test scores and the socio-economic scores. This is the dirty little secret that educrats simply don’t want to talk about. It is based on the Law of the Large Numbers — just as political polling is. You can’t make a pig bigger just by continuing to weigh the pig. Kids are not going to get smarter simply by throwing more and more standardized tests their way. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that in the twisted world of public schooling that sufficient time, resources, and freedom to be creativ should be given to the teacher so that the teacher can figure out a way to help motivate a student who essentially comes to school with little or no motivation to learn and with very few readiness skills. No, our educrats are so stupid that they think that throwing tests at these students will make them learn. Again, no, these students eventually drop out of school because they are bored and are simply not engaged in the public schooling “mission” (which is to raise standardized test scores “by any means necessary”). Despite all of the outright cheating (administrators erasing the incorrect answers, teachers giving cues in the classroom for the right answers while the tests are being administered, etc.), the elimination of very vital vocational programs, certain students being held out of the testing, watering down the tests (like the GHGT), eliminating physical education/recess, eliminating creative and imaginative teaching and learning, etc., the test scores have continued to drag the bottom like big Mississippi mudcats. Educrats simply will not accept the fact that not all students will be “scholars.” It is O. K. for some children to grow up to be painters, mechanics, lawn care specialists, roofers, plumbers, electricians, tile men and women, cleaning specialists (some of these folk who own their own cleaning company make lots of money), etc. I have to call on these people on a constant basis — and pay them handsomely. It was like that in the 1950s and through the mid 1980s, and things worked out better than now. Our drop-out rate now is atrocious, and these young adults are leaving school with no skills at all.

I remember when the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) began eliminating its vocational programs — like the auto body building program at the old Archer High School. The students in this program were “engaged” and fired up about learning a very marketable skill. This school’s program in auto body building (is this what it is called when people fix your wrecked cars?) won many state-wide contests through the years under the leadership of Mr. James Whitehead. The students stayed in school and graduated. Upon graduating, these students would find a good job at places like Beaudry Ford. They became contributing members of society. But, the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) under the non-leadership of Beverly Hall did away with this very worthwhile program. This was a disservice done to the Perry Homes/Hollywood Court Community. Perhaps APS wanted these kids to drop out of school. I don’t know. Or, perhaps the motivation for eliminating this program was simply to incrimentally raise APS’s standardized test scores by a scintilla of a point. Superintendents’ bonuses are tied to standardized test scores, not to how many marketable skills the students learn in school. Personally, I think that kids were sacrified at the almighty altars of the false gods of Standardized Testing. Hopefully, we will someday see ourselves out of this educational morass. Perhaps we will look back upon our wandering in the Educational Desert (for 40 years) and see Standardized Testing as a fad not unlike the Pet Rock, though more prolonged and more malicious. Humans do stupid things. Standardized Testing has hurt kids, not helped them. (c) MACE, 2009

Dr. John Trotter

June 9th, 2009
11:14 am

Please forgive the typos. I wrote the post too hastily — or, I posted the post too hastily. Either way, there were three or four typos. Sorry. John.

jim d

June 9th, 2009
12:42 pm

Dr. John,

I’m glad I don’t feel compelled to beg forgiveness for TPYOS :)

Quin

June 9th, 2009
2:14 pm

I don’t think that CRCT is the cause to drag down the knowledge level of students if it doesn’t raise it. In fact I think CRCT is needed to evaluate how well our students are doing at school, without excluding other tests that may benefit students too. Of course CRCT is not the only way to improve our eduction in this country. Remeber CRCT is just a test, like SAT test, They won’t help people learn, but they help assess where students stand. We all know that in any field we need to set kinda standards so we can evaluate test takers how they are doing. In order to get a good score, a student has to learn well and broad, particularly with critical thinking skills. I think it’s Ok to have a industry that guides and directs this test. After all they are educated people. Public schools shouldn’t become a vocational learning place for students. Out tax dollar is meant to educate children in general knowledge that helps them understand how to be a productive indivial in society. If they are interested in becoming a mechanics after graduation, they should be able to do so after school or graduation. Our mission states very clear that public school system is to educate kids to become knowledgable citizens rather hands on mechanics. I think over haul of this program was right thing to do. I would strongly oppose my kids to stay in this program if they attempted to, but school is not for everyone. For those who really can’t keep up in school shouldn’t be forced to stay in there. At certain age, they should be free to go. Some kids just can’t comprehend study materials. It doesn’t make any sense to put them in class suffering. That everyone must have a high school diploma is not practical feasible, might be politically correct. Recently I had a niece in other country who took SAT test and scored 750 in math, which made me wonder how many US students can make a high score like that. I guess we have a lot of room to improve and definitely can do Well

nessa123

June 13th, 2009
9:07 pm

i think if 8th graders pass the crct,they should go to summer school and even if they failed again,let them go to high school anyways because it would be more fair! im totally against this retention thing w/ 8th grade who dont pass the crct

DeAnne

June 14th, 2009
1:20 am

The American education system is a complex beast, and comparing it to the Asian education system is like comparing apples and oranges. In America, we educate all the little “apples” regardless of any bruising or damage. On the other hand, the Asian system has fruit inspectors who weed out any damaged “oranges” leaving only the best and brightest to move on to the upper grades. So, please, stop comparing America to Asia; anyway,in a head-to-head challenge, I do believe our elite American students would beat their elite students hands down!

Another point of contention is the erroneous idea that teachers are the reason that students don’t learn or don’t do well on state tests. That might be true in a small percentage of cases, but there are many factors that contribute to the learning process- teachers, parents, the STUDENT, disruptive students, block scheduling, administrators, and supplies(you know, it’s great to have a book for every student or at least access to a computer in lieu of a book). To put it frankly, teachers are rarely the problem; many joined the profession to make a difference in children’s lives, and most do just that. Now, factor in a classroom with multiple learning levels (special ed. students also in the mix) in a school that’s on a traditional block schedule(one semester to complete a year’s worth of work). In this classroom, there are two regularly disruptive students, and all methods of intervention, except for paddling(it’s not allowed), have not worked. The parents have also said they can’t do anything with the child(ren). Also in this classroom, there are several students filled with apathy and admit they don’t care about learning this “junk” and can take it again in a repeater class or credit recovery. But in this class, they are some students who are determined to learn and do learn and do extremely well regardless of those around them.

There are two morals to this story:
1. Learning is choice that one makes; if the desire is there, one will
learn regardles of any adversity.
2. The responsibility for learning does not fall squarely on the
shoulders of the teacher. Share the wealth and include the STUDENT,
parents, and administrators as well.

what??

June 14th, 2009
8:04 am

Hey, nessa – are YOU one of those 8th graders who didn’t pass the CRCT? Your post sure reads that way…and BTW, didn’t your mom ever tell you that life wasn’t fair?

C_Islandmom

June 14th, 2009
12:00 pm

Hey Thomas – perhaps YOU need to take a CRCT and learn language yourself :

“Yet they past the CRCT. I am talking about students who can barely speak English passing the CRCT.”

Tests are PASSED not ‘past’! Any third grader would know that.

The problems with public schools are compounded by ignorant parents!

Just_a_teacher

July 8th, 2009
7:31 pm

There is plenty of blame to go around and plenty of public schools to bash. I wonder if private schools could pass the CRCT, but we’ll never know. Yes, teachers should be held accountable. Teachers should be firm disciplinarians with parents and administration backing them up. Class sizes should be reduced and teacher pay should go up. When there are four teachers for every job, our students can be taught by the best of the best. When teachers can teach instead of police today’s youth and salaries are competitive, that can happen.

By the way, as a career changer and a first year teacher, 20% more of my students passed the CRCT in science over last year. I didn’t teach the test, I taught science. They learned much more than the test covers but they were prepared because they lerned to think. Novel idea huh?