What are the CRCT scores looking like this year?

I have been getting a lot of calls on state CRCT scores — which have now been sent to the systems by the state Department of Education — asking why some systems have not yet told kids who must take retests because they failed.

One system that I’ve been getting calls about is APS, where teachers have said that they have not been told how their students did and which ones will need retesting and perhaps summer school. Not sure why a system would delay notification unless they have a lot of kids who need retesting and have to get accommodations in place before alerting them.

But I noticed someone posted on the blog this weekend about an Atlanta middle school seeing a drop in its scores, so perhaps APS now has released its scores at some schools. I talked to folks at elementary schools Friday who said they have not heard anything.

Speaking of APS, some folks are predicting principal changes, perhaps owing to the CRCT findings. (For those new to the issue, APS had a lot of schools flagged in a state-ordered analysis of erasures on score sheets on the state exams. The systems with unusual erasure rates of wrong to right were asked to conduct investigations and turn their results into the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. APS has until early June to submit its results.)

What are your CRCT scores this year?

110 comments Add your comment

dbow

May 23rd, 2010
8:27 am

The CRCT was suspiciously easy this year. I had kids exceed that honestly had no business passing the thing. Kids that could barely read scoring in the 880’s. and ditto for math. I’m not a magician so I know it wasn’t all my teaching. What gives?

just browsing

May 23rd, 2010
8:57 am

Scores were up at my school.

Teaching in FL is worse

May 23rd, 2010
9:01 am

I agree 100% with dbow. I teach special ed. I posted previously that I felt something was fishy.

teacher/learner

May 23rd, 2010
9:01 am

same here – I teach first grade and had kids who are NOT reading end of 1st grade level texts, but have really good comprehension, EASILY got scores over 800. Additionally, one child who barely reads end of Kindergarten level texts independently (though is quite smart), slept through part of the Reading CRCT, left some answers BLANK…still scored above 810!

We had to sign a statement that under penalty of losing our certification, we cannot reveal any of the specific test questions and possible answers…some of the test items/answers were ludicrous! On the Math CRCT, some content was repeatedly in test items. And, despite the DOE repeatedly saying that this year’s Math test would have more Level 2 Depth of Knowledge questions…it was ridiculously easy. My little kids know SOOOOO much more about reading and thinking, about how stories and informational texts work, about place value, solving problems with those understandings…and no one is interested. Shameful situation. At least the 1st and 2nd grade kids won’t be subjected to hours and hours of sitting as well as the anxiety produced by the “test” next year. Just nervous though about what might be the replacement….

dbow

May 23rd, 2010
9:06 am

Not trying to sound like a conspiracy nut, but what a great way for Cathy Cox to end her tenure as superintendent of schools. If scores on the CRCT are way up all over the state, she can claim her initiatives where successful and by default so were Sonny’s. If it walks like a duck, it must be a duck.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by RJA, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: What are the CRCT scores looking like this year? http://bit.ly/bcHafs [...]

Fericita

May 23rd, 2010
9:42 am

I believe students only need to get 50% of the questions right to pass the reading section, and 45% of the questions right to pass math. Obviously, kids who aren’t doing grade-level work can pass tests with that low of a bar.

In Cobb County, we have been teaching “remediation” (the summer school curriculum) to the students who were in danger of failing since the CRCT was over in April. The kids who failed took a retest the last week of school. This was in order to bypass summer school, which the county apparently has no money for. I wonder how APS will address failures? My understanding was that before a child takes a retest, the state mandates that they have to have a certain number of hours of remediation.

Devil's Advocate

May 23rd, 2010
9:47 am

Since the CRCT is such an easy, basic skills test, why do so many teachers constantly complain about the pressure of passing it? I have found that it’s so easy that I can get students ready in about half the time I have,and the other half can be used for developing more important skills.

Makes you wonder about the competency of some of those that constantly carp about “standardized testing”.

dbow

May 23rd, 2010
9:49 am

I was told that the cut scores weren’t lowered, but who could actually verify that statement? Baloney sandwich anyone?

HS Teacher

May 23rd, 2010
10:22 am

Question for elementary and middle school parents/teachers: If a student fails a subject test in a non high-stakes year (e.g. Math in 6th grade), does he/she still have to retake the test?

dbow

May 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

I was told by my admin that even though several of my students have failed 4 or more of their courses included core subjects, they’re being moved on because they passed the CRCT, albeit barely. Ok.

Duh??????

May 23rd, 2010
10:35 am

@ HS Teacher- No the child does not have to retake the test, but their data from the test should be used to guide instruction the next school year.

Maureen get on the case!

May 23rd, 2010
10:43 am

Way too many disturbing reports about cut scores, and about how many people found the tests to be much easier this year.

Maureen, three tasks.

What are the cut scores?

Are the tests in fact easier?

And the big question, could this have been done for political protection of Cox, and her administrative friends in the school systems, to reduce political fallout of the cheating?

Don’t let them use the excuse the CRCT can’t be revealed Maureen, when you try to find the truth about the rigor of this year’s tests.

If you’ll recall Maureen, the year Cox inflated test scores by lowing the cut score to 41% Cox’s excuse was the test was more difficult. But the AJC was able to get someone to independently verify that more than 90% of the number of questions you needed to get right to pass were of the lowest level of comprehension.

Let the Open Records Act be your friend Maureen. Let’s start pulling those emails, finding out who talked to whom, and what did they know, and when did they know it.

CRCT

May 23rd, 2010
10:55 am

if students fail the crct, do they have to retake it?

if studetns fail the crct, do they get a second chance to take it?

, do they get promoted?

CRCT

May 23rd, 2010
10:56 am

i love my repeating question, duh

ScienceTeacher671

May 23rd, 2010
11:09 am

Does the state seem to be taking longer than usual to send the official EOCT results to the schools? As of Friday we had not gotten ours.

Maureen Downey

May 23rd, 2010
11:45 am

CRCT, Students are retested. I believe the window is early June for schools to test again. As to promotions versus retentions, an AJC investigation last year found hardly anyone gets held back statewide as there is an appeal process involving the parent, teacher and principal.
Maureen

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
11:46 am

A second grade student of mine with an IRL equal to a kindergartner in the 3 month passed all three sections of the CRCT. I have 3 other students with IRLs equal to 2nd graders in the 6 month and higher, that failed all three parts. WTH?

Maureen get on the case!

May 23rd, 2010
11:53 am

Maureen what about the anecdotal reports the CRCT tests were much easier this year?

What about the rumors about the cut scores?

What is the AJC doing to find out the truth?

Devil's Advocate

May 23rd, 2010
11:58 am

@cricket – maybe the IRL (Individual Reading Level I’m assuming?) is not the whole story to academic performance?

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
12:06 pm

Devil’s Advocate: Okay… so enlighten me.

anyway…

An Explanation of Cut Scores:

On Criterion Referenced Tests a committee (usually consisting of educators, content area specialists, and state administrators) look at a battery of questions matched to the curriculum and for each question they determine if a “minimally competent” student in that subject area would get the question correct or incorrect. After all the items have been examined the committee’s recommendations are taken and used to create “cut scores.” These scores will mark the difference between a student who “Meets” standards or “Does not Meet.” As an example, a math test might have 60 questions with a cut score of 33. This would mean that a student who gets 33 out of 60 questions correct would “Meet” standards while a student who correctly answers 32 out of 60 questions would be classified as “Does Not Meet.” For Criterion Referenced Tests the State of Georgia commissions committees each year to set the cut scores for each assessment. The cut score for a given test might be different depending on the subject, grade, and year.

*Slightly more clear than mud but how do you measure clarity of mud anyway?

Devil's Advocate

May 23rd, 2010
12:23 pm

cricket – I just get sick of teachers who like to trot out their anecdotes to prove that EVERYthing is flawed.

Sometimes, an anecdote is just an anomaly, not an idicator that an entire system is wrong.

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
12:26 pm

Devil- what grade do you teach?

dbow

May 23rd, 2010
12:28 pm

Devil’s advocate, have you ever tried to hit a moving target with a bow and arrow where the sights were off? That’s what it’s like to get these kids to pass CRCT. The cut scores are never clearly defined and the questions are sometimes so ambiguous that you just never know if they’re going to be the ones that get removed.

another aps teacher

May 23rd, 2010
12:33 pm

Cut scores: 800=53% correct
829=70% correct
850=80% correct

When we were practicing for the CRCT with Georgia’s Online assessment questions I measured my students’ knowledge and previous performance on the actual test with the scores they were getting on the GOAS questions, and their performance was pretty consistent with their classroom performance. All this means is that if your students or your children come home with less than an 830 on the test then they are not really prepared to do grade level work with any consistency. I don’t know why this test is such a barometer of student preparedness when it is not a norm referenced test. I told my A and B students that they should strive to exceed, not pass. I will look better if all of my students pass of course, but the praise will be like ashes in the mouth if the cut score is any lower than it has been in previous years.

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
12:48 pm

“trot out their anecdotes”

Nothing I posted about the IRLs of students in my room compared to their CRCT scores was “anecdotal.” It was all based on non-subjective DATA.

Devil's Advocate

May 23rd, 2010
12:57 pm

5th

But you took 3 students to prove the flaws of an entire system. What about the 20-25 other students in your class where the “data” fit predicted outcomes well?

catlady

May 23rd, 2010
1:01 pm

I concur with those earlier posters. Scores were higher than expected. We had many kids who are way below grade level who passed the test. In fact, some of our lower-skilled ESOL kids also did well. I don’t know if it was that the test questions (we are not supposed to look at the test) were easier or the cut scores were lower, but we have all remarked that something was different. And, while we have worked very hard and supplied interventions to all who failed the test last year, it is hard to believe this much difference is real.

science teacher

May 23rd, 2010
1:14 pm

My science scores were disappointing. Some were no surprise – kids who were either transient, absent a lot, or put forth no effort at all this year. Others were surprising – some of my better students didn’t even pass. One of the teachers on my team asked the kids about it and they admitted that, after the math test, they were tired. They knew science and social studies didn’t count, and so they didn’t really try. They said that if a question was too wordy or too long to read, they guessed. If a question had a math problem in it, they guessed. If the question had a graph it in, they guessed…and this is the test we want to base merit pay on???

What I want to know is why won’t the DOE release the tests?? After I give a test in class, I do an item analysis to see which questions were missed the most. Then I determine possible reasons for the problem – was the question worded funny? Did the kids need more time with a concept? Were the distractors too similar to the correct answer? If I determine that either the test or instruction was flawed, I throw the question out. I always go over the test an explain these things to the students, and from their comments, I learn their misunderstandings. We aren’t given the opportunity to do that with the CRCT. FWIW, I used the GA OAS site – the the students told me that the questions there and on the actual CRCT were very different (not too mention several old questions from the old QCCs on there). I also saw little correlation between their practice test scores and their actual results. I think more information needs to be available for the teachers to be able to properly evaluate their instruction.

Seriously

May 23rd, 2010
1:45 pm

My kids did amazingly well.. the majority of them exceeded… but that just means the majority of them made an 80% or so… which isnt surpirsing.

Seriously

May 23rd, 2010
1:46 pm

surprising…

Tony

May 23rd, 2010
2:05 pm

A couple of clarifications:

1st – the only students who are retested are the ones who fail the high stakes tests at 3rd, 5th and 8th grades. 3rd grade high stakes test is the Reading portion only. 5th and 8th grades both require passage of reading and math. Students in these grades are retested on only the portion previously failed. No other CRCT grades are allowed retakes.

2nd – Each CRCT has items for field testing, usually 10 per test. These items do not count as part of the students’ grades. Yes, the percentage required to earn the “meets” designation or 800 scale score is relatively low. It is between 50%-55%.

Our scores have been back for about 2 weeks. We did fairly well in most areas and I do not think the test was suddenly extra easy this year. Most of my teachers reported that the children worked out problems, read passages carefully, and (most importantly) did not erase any marks.

The politicians and some educators are putting way too much emphasis on CRCT. It is a one time assessment that gives a limited perspective on what a students knows in relation to what was tested. Of course, there are those who automatically assume that CRCT is a fully valid means to determine teacher performance as well as student performance. However, I am of the opinion that it takes more than a multiple choice test to measure either of those factors.

It is very sad that our state leaders are putting so much emphasis on tests like this and not enough emphasis on the real aspects of learning. Our kids are being robbed of more learning than ever before all in the name of CRCT.

Baffled

May 23rd, 2010
2:43 pm

I concur with the previous posters. I was apprehensive about the testing. Questions did seem easier, not worth having stressed about it, preparing kids for months. Most of my students are average/below. Every last one of them passed, and about 75% exceeded. That includes the non-readers and those with IEP’s. Huh? But I see from this blog I’m not the only one wondering….

Fericita

May 23rd, 2010
2:43 pm

Devil’s Advocate, regarding your comment: “Since the CRCT is such an easy, basic skills test, why do so many teachers constantly complain about the pressure of passing it? I have found that it’s so easy that I can get students ready in about half the time I have,and the other half can be used for developing more important skills. Makes you wonder about the competency of some of those that constantly carp about “standardized testing”.

Speaking for myself only, I can say that I am annoyed by the pressure my administrators place on passing the CRCT. I’m in a Title I school with a high number of ESOL students, and I consistently have students who are several grade levels behind. My focus is on getting them to be able to read fluently, to enjoy reading, to build their background knowledge, and to have greater proficiency in English. I can’t do that if I’m being pressured to only give them reading passages and multiple choice answer choices along with them. I also can’t build their background knowledge in the ways that I want when I am told to drop teaching science and social studies in order to spend more time on math, reading, and English Language Arts. Most will learn more than a year’s worth of material while in my class, but that does not mean they are on grade level yet. So, I make no guarantees that I can get a student to pass the 5th grade CRCT when they come in to my class in August with a 1st grade reading level. I’m not afraid of teaching a year’s worth of material to students who enter my class on grade level – it’s making up a 4 year deficit in a year that presents a real challenge. I think adminstrators pressure teachers to teach only to the test at the expense of getting kids excited about books and learning.

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
2:47 pm

Devil’s wrote:
“But you took 3 students to prove the flaws of an entire system”

Huh?

I wasn’t trying to prove flaws in any part of the system. You jumped to that conclusion. My point was the 3 average students who failed must have put forth little to no effort on the CRCT due to the fact that it was easy enough for a practically illiterate student to pass. The other 16 students in my class met or exceeded expectations. One even had a perfect score on the reading part. My frustration is with the 3 students who CHOSE to bubble in answers at random not because they didn’t know the content or how to read but because they were too damn lazy to think!

DunMoody

May 23rd, 2010
2:51 pm

I agree with Tony. If the state of Georgia wants to compare itself with other states, then it should rely on a uniform test – such as ITBS – rather than its own cockamamie concoction. I for one am very, very tired of the school year getting interrupted at least TWICE for most grades for prep and administration of the test du jour, ITBS + CRCT + graduation tests + end of course tests (and then there are the college-bound SAT and ACT, the former administered to every kid, regardless of ability or ambition). The state DOE can’t decide which makes us look better, so we get to do them all.

The CRCT is a big snooze in our house, but that’s because I am very, very fortunate to have very capable kids. It’s a huge stress in many of our friends’ homes because they have children with learning challenges. Either way, it’s a waste of time.

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
2:52 pm

Devil’s wrote:
“But you took 3 students to prove the flaws of an entire system”

I wasn’t trying to prove flaws in any part of the system. You jumped to that conclusion. My point was the 3 average students who failed must have put forth little to no effort on the CRCT due to the fact that it was easy enough for a practically illiterate student to pass. The other 16 students in my class met or exceeded expectations. One even had a perfect score on the reading part. My frustration is with the 3 students who CHOSE to bubble in answers at random not because they didn’t know the content or how to read but because they were too damn lazy to think!

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
2:55 pm

Help Maureen! There is a cricket caught in the filter!

cricket

May 23rd, 2010
2:56 pm

oh never mind!

gruntor

May 23rd, 2010
3:01 pm

Cut scores vary both by grade and subject. They aren’t consistent across subjects in one grade, either.

I teach 6th grade, and know that the cut scores are less than 50% in some subjects, and greater in others. Those of you who have access to actual data released by the state can see how many questions a child got right out of how many possible. Find a child with an 800 score in an area, look at the total number right, divide by the number of possible right, and there’s your cut %.

RobertNAtl

May 23rd, 2010
3:08 pm

In one of the twins’ 2nd grade classes, *everyone* passed, and over half “exceeded,” which indicates to me (and I have worked with a lot of the kids in that class on reading on a weekly basis) that the test must have been skewed to the “easy” side. If this was done consciously by the test-writers, it really exposes the tests as worthless, even for the limited purposes for which they are intended.

Veteran teacher, 2

May 23rd, 2010
3:21 pm

So, when and if we actually make better scores in this state, how will anyone know it????? It sounds like most people will question the cut score or say the test was easy rather than think that the students may have actually done better.

A better idea is to do away with all this nonsense. Get rid of all testing!

teach me!

May 23rd, 2010
3:24 pm

Depends on county requirements for retesting.
In Gwinnett, 7th graders have to pass the CRCT in math, science, LA and reading to go to 8th grade. If you fail CRCT in 7th, you go to summer school.Grades do not count except in Social Studies, which they have to make a 70 each semester in to avoid summer school. (Since this is last year of implenting the new SS standards, the CRCT in Gwinnett didn’t count for promotion)

ScienceTeacher671

May 23rd, 2010
3:34 pm

Veteran teacher, 2, I really don’t mind having the EOCT. Before we had it, the “teacher” in the room next to mine did nothing all year, had the kids working out of the book while he worked out football plays, and gave all open book multiple choice tests. The kids all passed, most with As and Bs, and everyone was happy, until the kids got to the GHSGT and knew nothing.

With the EOCT, everyone has to teach, or it shows up right away. The major problem I have is that a student only has to get 45% of the questions right to pass — the cut scores are set too low. The other problem is, the students who have been socially promoted despite failing the CRCT will usually fail the EOCT, because they can’t read and comprehend the questions.

As for the cut scores on the CRCT, don’t they give teachers a report that shows how many questions were graded, and how many each student got correct? If you have that, you ought to be able to calculate whether the percentage necessary for passing has changed. Unfortunately, it won’t show whether or not the difficulty of the questions has changed.

irisheyes

May 23rd, 2010
3:36 pm

All of my students passed this year, and while I’m pleased about it for their sakes, I’m not going to run around crowing about my teaching abilities. I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with it next year, though I’m sure GCPS will come up with something in its place. I did have some scores that made me go “?”, like the child who is reading below grade level with an 850 and the one who is reading over a year above grade with an 820, but some kids are naturally good test takers and some aren’t.

Was it easier? I don’t know. I do know that there were certain topics that it focused heavily on and others that were ignored.

I’m just glad that next year, I’ll be able to talk to parents about their child’s whole learning, and not just their CRCT prep. While I try to do that now, most parents are so focused on how their child does on the CRCT that they don’t really want to look at the whole picture.

Teaching in FL is worse

May 23rd, 2010
3:47 pm

If these scores are inflated, the people I feel the most for are our special populations. If the scores are more in lin enext year and they crash, how will it affect them?

I also wonder if we are going to be told, “Look how well you would have been compensated if merit pay was in place?”

No matter what, my students really worked hard, and I am proud of them. Too bad they are pawns in this game…..

dbow

May 23rd, 2010
4:19 pm

Whatever the case here, I’m going to run with it. As soon as somebody points to the test scores and asks me if I would approve of merit pay based on how well my students did on the CRCT, I’m still saying NO. I’m going to take full credit for all the results and start putting down the teachers that didn’t score as my kids did. HAHAHAHAHA I’m going to run all the way to the bank with my results. I have to run because I can’t afford to drive since they cut my stipend and gave me three days off.

Tom

May 23rd, 2010
4:37 pm

Good riddance, Kathy Cox

middleschoolmom

May 23rd, 2010
5:16 pm

How likely is it that my 8th grade (freshman next fall) student (in all AC classes and magnet school bound) received perfect scores on some parts of the CRCT? On the last day of school, he received certificates for this. Only a couple of other kids did the same. I am just curious.

teachertoo

May 23rd, 2010
5:16 pm

The child that slept through the test, yes I woke him several times…failed. One of my ESOL students came so close, and some of my lowest weakest readers passed. It was long and a test of endurance not skill. One 70 min. section would have sufficed. More than half my class passed Math, but my kids came to 3rd without even the basic facts mastered…it was a hard year. Social Studies was redundant, they just kept repeating themselves from what I could gather while pacing the aisles. I hate the test and want to teach for the love of learning again.