Fayette’s 8th-graders score among best in Ga. CRCT


Fayette County eighth grade students scored among the best in the state in the recent Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). The test will be replaced with the new Georgia Milestones Assessment System in the 2014-2015 school year.

School system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said compared to other system scores released by the Ga. Department of Education, Fayette’s elementary and middle school students in grades 3-8 posted high pass rate percentages for meeting or exceeding standards in all subject areas tested.

Only Forsyth County, and in a few cases Gwinnett and Columbia counties, along with a handful of smaller systems, posted higher pass rate percentages in some content areas, Berry-Dreisbach said.

When comparing all school systems in the state, where some have fewer than 100 students taking the test, Fayette scored in the top 10 in all eighth grade content areas. Those included reading at ninth place with a 99.6 percent pass rate; English/Language Arts at eighth place with a 99 percent pass rate; math at fourth place with a 95.9 percent pass rate; science at 10th place with a 91.2 percent pass rate; and social studies at ninth place with a 93.2 percent pass rate. Additionally, Fayette ranked seventh in the state in fifth grade English/Language Arts with a 99.3 percent pass rate, Berry-Dreisbach said.

“Excluding smaller systems, Fayette led the way in Georgia and the metro area with the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in third grade reading at 98.7 percent, fifth grade English/Language Arts at 99.3 percent, sixth grade reading at 99.5 percent, eighth grade reading at 99.6 percent and eighth grade English/Language Arts at 99 percent,” said Berry-Dreisbach. “Fayette tied for first with Forsyth County in fifth grade reading at 99.1 percent.”

Locally, the system’s largest increases in pass rates were seen in third grade mathematics at 92 percent, up two percentage points from 2013; eighth grade science at 91 percent, up two percentage points from 2013; and eighth grade social studies at 93 percent, also up two percentage points from 2013, Berry-Dreisbach said.

“Students took the CRCT for the last time this year. Beginning this school year, all students in grades 3-8 will take the Georgia Milestones,” Berry-Dreisbach said. “The new testing system is one consistent program across grades 3-12, rather than a series of individual tests. It will include open-ended questions to better gauge student content mastery and, with some exceptions for special education students with specific testing accommodations, will be administered entirely online by the fifth year of implementation.”

Berry-Dreisbach said Georgia Milestones will be aligned to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) in English/Language Arts and mathematics and Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) in science and social studies.

“This testing system will require more from students than the CRCT and End of Course Test (EOCT) it replaces in order to better prepare students for college and career and to provide a more realistic picture of academic progress,” she said.

Echoing the previous statements of Superintendent Jody Barrow, Berry-Dreisbach said the increased expectations for learning may mean initially lower scores than previous years’ CRCT or EOCT scores, but that is to be expected and should bring Georgia’s tests in line with other indicators of how Fayette students are performing.