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System outpaces state CRCT averages

POSTED: July 11, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Dawson County students generally exceeded the state averages on the Criterion-Referenced-Competency Test, according to systemwide scores released this month.

The test measures third- through eighth-graders in math, science, English/language arts, reading and social studies.

Rick Brown, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said the school system scored about 10 percent higher than the state averages in five out of 30 areas and was more than 15 percent higher in three other areas.

"The students did very well this year," he said. "We are excited about that, but we still want to keep getting better. We are still going to look at our trend data and see how we can keep improving."

The three areas exceeding state averages by some 15 percent were sixth- and seventh-grade social studies and sixth-grade science.

"We've got great middle schools that are working together to better students' scores," he said. "We use benchmark tests to measure student's improvements throughout the year."

However, there are still areas of concern. The system's scores fell below state averages in fourth-grade social studies and fifth- and eighth-grade math.

Also, compared to its scores last year, Dawson County has slipped in several areas, especially in fourth and eighth grade.

Last year, 87 percent of fourth-graders met or exceeded state standards in social studies. That's a nearly 12 percent decline from this year's 75.4 percent.

Likewise, eighth-graders' math scores dropped by nearly 10 percent. Compared to 81.5 percent last year, 71.8 percent of eighth-graders met or exceeded state standards.

Still, Brown said he is proud of all the students have accomplished. Sixth- and seventh-graders scores rose from last year.

"Dawson County works hard every year," he said. "We've got great principals and teachers in our schools. That's why we are where we are."

This year's results will be the first used in the College and Career Ready Performance Index, a new accountability method replacing the Adequate Yearly Progress guidelines.

As under AYP, the CRCT serves to measures student's progress against fixed standards. However, there will be more flexibility to assess individual student's success.

The index will track students as they go through the system, instead of comparing this year's students to last year's, which Brown said always fluctuates.

The Dawson County Board of Education likely will discuss the CRCT results at its next meeting, which is set for July 16 at its office on Allen Street.

Also, End-of-Course test scores are expected to be released within the next month.


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