Local school leaders said they are pleased with the school-by-school results for the Criterion Referenced Competency Test scores, which were released Tuesday by the Georgia Department of Education.
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. However, students who fail these portions of the tests are given opportunities for retests and remediation. Students were tested in April, and the scores released Tuesday afternoon do not include retests.
For these three grade levels, Cobb County School District had students in 66 elementary schools and 26 middle schools who were tested in reading, English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. In Marietta City Schools, students in eight elementary schools and one middle school were tested.
Results showed many Cobb and Marietta schools fared well on the tests, with several posting 100 percent pass rates in reading and/or math. However, a select few third-grade classes at Cobb schools posted just above 60 percent of students meeting or exceeding math standards, the lowest of the batch of scores reported.
Cobb schools await analysis
When asked to comment on the scores, CCSD Chief Academic Officer Amy Krause said she was awaiting analysis of the district’s scores to review and would only comment once the scores are “received and proofed.”
Jay Dillon, director of communications for CCSD, said he was not aware that the district had received the results, or had a chance to evaluate them. Once received, Dillon said it would take a couple of days to produce an analysis.
Board Chair Randy Scamihorn said Tuesday afternoon he had not had the chance to review the scores, but looked forward to a report on the data at the next school board meeting, which will be Wednesday, July 24.
Marietta schools ‘pleased overall’
Emily Lembeck, superintendent of Marietta City Schools, said she thought the results showed fifth, sixth and seventh-grade students at MCS performed well.
“I think we have some areas in fourth grade that need to be examined but overall I’m pleased to have seen the number of students exceeded in all but that one grade level, which was very good,” Lembeck said.
Lembeck said all of the scores will be examined system-wide this summer to determine where each schools have weaknesses, whether by grade level or in a specific content area, to build school improvement plans.
“For our teachers teaching a new curriculum for the first time, I think that the scores were really solid and we had areas where there was significant improvement,” she said, noting those improvements were seen in third, fifth and eighth grades.
“With fifth, sixth and seventh grades having a very, very strong year, I think we’ll see even more improvement in eighth grade next year,” she said.
Randy Weiner, school board chair for Marietta City Schools, was also pleased with his school district’s performance.
“We improved on 21 out of 30 tests for the entire district,” he said. “While every grade level increased in the percentage of students exceeding standards, seventh grade had the highest percentage of students exceeding standards at 68.2 percent compared to 58.5 percent in 2012.”
Weiner said he’s also glad the percentage of students exceeding standards in all grade levels tested increased to 61.4 percent.
“This is the fifth straight year we’ve seen strong gains in students who exceed standards, from a low of 33 percent back in 2008,” he said.
The best and the worst
In third-grade reading, 15 Cobb schools and two Marietta City schools had 100 percent of students meet or exceed standards. Those schools in Cobb were Still, Tritt, Garrison Mill, Keheley, Kemp, Ford, Shallowford Falls, Murdock, Rocky Mount, Davis, Nicholson, Timber Ridge, Teasley, Bells Ferry and Due West elementary schools. In Marietta, they were Marietta Center for Advanced Academics and West Side Elementary.
The lowest percentage of third-graders passing the reading portion of the test was seen at Riverside Intermediate and Green Acres Elementary, both at 76.8 percent.
In math, the only third-grade class to achieve 100 percent meeting or exceeding standards was Marietta Center for Advanced Academics. The schools that did the worst were Clarkdale, which had 60.6 percent of students meet or exceed standards, and Brown, which had 60.5 percent of students meet or exceed standards.
Fifth-graders at Tritt, Shallowford Falls, Ford, Murdock, Rocky Mount and Timber Ridge, Marietta Center for Advanced Academics and Dunleith all had 100 percent of students meet or exceed state standards for the reading portion of the test. The lowest percentage of fifth-graders met or exceeded the reading standards at Compton, which has 80.9 percent of students meet or exceed standards, a full 5 percentage points below all other fifth-grade classes in both Cobb and Marietta schools.
Mount Bethel, Ford, Rocky Mount and Marietta Center for Advanced Academics fifth-graders had 100 percent of students meet or exceed standards for the math portion of the test.
The lowest percentage of students meeting or exceeding math standards were reported at Argyle at 77 percent and Compton at 73 percent.
Four Cobb County schools posted perfect passing rates for the eighth-grade reading portion of the test. Those schools were Mabry, Dodgen, Dickerson and Simpson.
All schools in Cobb and Marietta had above 90 percent of students meet or exceed standards, except at Deveraux in Kennesaw, a treatment facility that also is responsible for teaching the most high-risk students, which posted only 58.3 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards.
In math, none of the Cobb or Marietta eighth-grade classes posted 100 percent meeting or exceeding standards, but Mabry, Dickerson and Hightower Trail had more than 99 percent of students meet or exceed standards.
The lowest number of eighth-graders meeting or exceeding standards for math was seen at International Academy of Smyrna (formerly Imagine International Academy) at 77.8 percent, East Cobb at 77 percent, Marietta Middle at 75.7 percent, Garrett at 75.2 percent, and Deveraux at 18.2 percent.