MARIETTA — Despite running on tighter budgets, the Cobb and Marietta school districts improved their scores in all but a few areas on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.
In April and May, Georgia students in third through eighth grade are tested in five subjects — reading, English and language arts, math, science and social studies. In 2012’s CRCTs, Cobb’s pass rate dropped in only one testing area, and Marietta’s dropped three.
Students in third, fifth and eighth grades must pass the reading test to advance to the next grade, and fifth- and eighth-graders must also pass the math portion. Students who fail, however, are given opportunities for re-tests and remediation.
In Cobb County Schools, third-graders saw improvements or stayed even in all subject areas. The science pass rate held steady at 81.2 percent of students, and social studies saw the biggest gain with 83.4 percent passing, about 2.7 percentage points more than last year.
Cobb fifth-graders improved in four of the five areas. The percentage of students who passed math dropped by 0.2 points, from 91.1 percent to 90.9 percent. The largest improvement was in social studies, where 80.6 percent of students passed, a 6.4 percentage point increase.
Eighth-graders met or exceeded last year’s results in every subject, improving the most in science, which increased by 5.5 percentage points, from 73.8 percent to 79.3 percent. Reading saw the smallest improvement, with 97.9 percent of students passing, a 0.3 percentage point increase.“I’m pleased that we’re making progress,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said. “We have a lot of good people, good instructional programs. … there’s a lot of engagement in the classroom.”
Hinojosa didn’t mention the scores during Thursday night’s board meeting, but he said that Board Chair Scott Sweeney had emailed the scores to board members and that they will review them as a whole during the July meeting.
In Marietta, third-graders improved in all areas except science, which saw a 2.7 percentage point drop, and social studies, where there was a 3.2 percentage point drop. Their reading pass rate held steady at 89.5 percent.
Fifth-graders in Marietta saw improvements in four of the five subject areas, dropping in math, where 82.8 percent of students passed, 2 percentage point decrease.
Marietta eighth-graders, like Cobb, saw improvements in every subject area, with the biggest improvement being in math, which saw a 5.2 percentage point increase. The smallest gain was seen in reading, which had a 1.4 percentage point increase.
Dayton Hibbs, Marietta’s assistant superintendent, said district will go through a “very detailed process” of outlining each school’s scores to try and identify where work is needed for next year.
“If we still have some gaps … we look for strategies to increase achievement,” he said.
Hibbs said it’s always disappointing to see decreases like Marietta did in the three testing areas, regardless of how small, but said the district looks forward to the results each year.
“It provides a gauge of where we are with our achievement,” he said.
School-by-school CRCT results will be released no later than July 12, said Matt Cardoza, spokesman for the state education department.
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Cobb city schools mostly improve in CRCTs