CRCT scores being released today: Fewer concerns

Here is the advance the AJC ran this morning in anticipation of the release this morning of statewide CRCT scores.

The story details the waning impact of the test on school system ratings as Georgia moves to new accountability measures. This is an excerpt. Please read full story:

Few educators are mourning the waning primacy of the CRCT, administered to public school students in grades 3 through 8. The test, a key part in determining if a school meets federal achievement standards , measures student performance in English/language arts, reading, science, math and social studies.

“I think educators have felt for some time now that we’ve gone overboard on testing,” said Tim Callahan, spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. “Right now, we seem to be caught up in a numbers game. It’s almost a blame and shame game.”

Since 2000, the CRCT has been a critical factor in determining if a school meets federal adequate yearly progress targets, or AYP. In years past, those high stakes would create nervousness among some schools when test scores were reported. Persistently poor performing schools could be closed or taken over by the state. Educator bonuses were sometimes tied to whether a school made AYP, and teaching classes that consistently performed poorly on the CRCT could negatively affect that teacher’s career.

The drive to do well on CRCT and meet federal standards was blamed for spurring educators in Dougherty County and Atlanta Public Schools to change student answers on the CRCT. APS is now trying to fire about 50 educators who are on paid administrative leave after being accused of cheating or failing to report cheating on the 2009 CRCT.

The CRCT will be around for another year, perhaps longer. Georgia parents began receiving their student’s test scores in late May. Today’s release of CRCT district scores will be followed by a school-by-school report.

But instead of relying almost exclusively on the CRCT to determine how schools are performing, Georgia is working to create an index system that will assign each school a numerical rating from one to 100, with 100 being the highest possible rating.

In that rating system, which Georgia got the right to establish because it received a waiver from NCLB, CRCT results will be one of several factors that make up a school’s rating. Some other factors will include graduation rates, Advanced Placement test scores, reading levels and career awareness indicators.

The Georgia Department of Education expects to implement that new measurement system late this year or early next year.

–Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

9 comments Add your comment

Inatlanta

June 14th, 2012
8:57 am

What a waste of money, is Alvin Wilbanks still cheering for the CRCT? Still, it shows after 10 years the parents of South Dekalb can’t promise a future for their children. Their scores and the APS cheating scandal makes working and living in Atlanta very difficult and even dangerous.

Dunwoody Mom

June 14th, 2012
9:01 am

Nice not to see or read all the angst that normally would be associated with the release of these scores. I know the term “AYP” is gone, I would like to see CRCT gone as well!!! Two words I hope never to hear again in my lifetime.

Sara

June 14th, 2012
9:01 am

You would think that educated people would know better than to attribute a “number” to an area based on a test score. Demographics mean EVERYTHING. Where you begin, who you begin with, and where you end from your beginning is fair – everything else is just meaningless numbers. I teach the gifted. My school expects all gifted students to exceed on these test. This year I had a new student who had been home schooled for the past 2 years and was just entering the 6th grade. He knew nothing of parts of speech, punctuations, conventions, etc., but he was a good reader. He did not exceed by one question. I was so PROUD of his grade because I knew how hard he worked and how much he had learned in 3 short months. My school and I saw his test results differently. It is where a student begins and ends that is worthy of our attention.

Clarence

June 14th, 2012
9:13 am

We’ll see how unimportant they are when teacher raises are based on CRCT results…

sloboffthestreet

June 14th, 2012
9:14 am

My guess is the phrase “Less concerns” will translate into dismal test scores. Just like the new High School graduation rate formula.. Now children, “Does anyone know what sound the DONKEY makes?” “That’s right kiddies, very good. Common Core!”

NTLB

June 14th, 2012
9:17 am

The CRCT measures the basics of the basics— though it has been alarming to learn which students cannot pass this watered down versions of an assessment, it did have its pros. Nonetheless, the cons outweighed the objectives of measuring the basic reading and math skills of our students. I say we use the ITBS to measure if our curriculum is aligned and keeping up with the rest of the country.

high school teacher

June 14th, 2012
9:54 am

Scoring on the CRCT makes no sense whatsoever. My son made an 878 on reading. I knew that he exceeded standards because an 850 or higher means as such, but I also knew that the highest score in reading is 920, so I didn’t think too much about it. Imagine my surprise when he was recognized at the end of year awards ceremony; he only missed two questions on the CRCT reading. How does missing two questions have a 42 point swing? On the other hand, he made an 886 on science, but the high score is a 990, and he missed 6 questions. I am aware that different categories of questions have more weight than others, but surely there is another way to score this ridiculous test.

Ed Johnson

June 14th, 2012
10:13 am

The ITBS is a norm-referenced test. It is intentionally designed and redesigned to always rank about half of test takers above average and half below average. It tends to include test items the more affluent get right and the more impoverished get wrong, and to exclude test items the more affluent get wrong and the more impoverished get right. Thus doing well on the ITBS simply means attaining high rank and not necessarily demonstrating learning excellence.

Double Zero Eight

June 14th, 2012
10:36 am

The AJC, GA DOE, U.S. DOE were all on the
bandwagon until recently. This includes you too
Maureen. The general consensus was it’s the
teachers fault if students perform poorly. No,
it’s basically attributable to the parents. Uneducated
parents often produce uneducated offspring, due
to the lack of parental involvement. This includes a
failure to instill discipline in their children. I say there is a
correlation between student test scores, and the level of
educatioin for the parent(s).

Cheating was widespread throughout the country
I recognize that still does not make it right. The APS
educators have basically become the “scapegoats”
for the entire country. Nothing will be done to the thousands
of other educators that cheated. I can assure you it will be
swept under the rug. Secretary Duncan has “buried his head
in the sand”.

Beverly Hall was a self promoting, condescending, pompous
and arrogant administrator that seized the opportunity to
use the CRCT to proclaim her greatness. In doing so, she
set unrealistic goals that resulted in destroying numerous
careers.

Test scores and graduation rates in GA will continue to
be among the worst in the country, until the root cause
of the problem is addressed.