CRCT testing results released

Published 2:33 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

Middle and elementary students in Decatur County improved on their CRCT tests from last year, and Bainbridge High School graduation test data shows gains in math and science scores as well, the Board of Education members were told Tuesday evening.

The biggest gains in students’ performance was in the area of math and science, Assistant Superintendents Suzi Bonifay and Susan Johnson reported to the BOE members.

Both credit science coach Donna McGlincy for assisting teachers and students in getting a better grasping of the science portions of the tests.

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In the eighth-grade science portion of the CRCT, students improved their test results by 10 percent from last year. In the eighth-grade math scores, middle school students improved by 20 percent, Bonifay said.

In the area of math, 69.27 percent of the eighth-graders met or exceeded the requirements, while 30.73 percent did not. However, that’s a big improvement from last year when approximately half of the student did not meet the requirements.

For eighth-graders taking the science portion, Bonifay said it was an improvement over last year; 55.73 percent meet state requirements and 9.64 percent exceeded them. However, 34.64 percent did not meet state requirements.

Bonifay said 64.12 percent of sixth-graders and 53.67 percent of seventh-graders meet state requirements in the state CRCT science portion, 10.69 percent of the sixth-graders and 22.03 percent of the seventh-graders exceeded those state requirements. Slightly a quarter, or 25.19 percent, of the sixth-graders and 24.29 percent of seventh-graders did not meet state requirements.

For fifth-graders, Johnson said the improvements over last year was 7 percent, with nearly a fifth, or 19.95 percent, not meeting state requirements, but 80.05 meeting or exceeding state requirements in the science portion of the test.

Fifth-graders taking the math CRCT test held their own this year, improving their scores by 12 percent, Johnson said.

Almost 84 percent—or 83.83 percent—met or exceeded results this year, as opposed to 72 percent meeting or exceeding the requirements from last year in math.

In social studies, which is given only to eighth-graders in the middle schools, the percentage of students exceeding the requirements doubled to 27.94 percent. Overall, the improvement was 6 percent over last year.

For third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, the same it true of the social science tests with approximately 70 percent of those three grade levels meeting or exceeding the requirements.

“We are very proud of our results,” Johnson said.

For English and reading in the elementary grades, the percentage not meeting state requirements is no higher than 14.08 percent for third-grade English results) to a low 5.08 percent for second-grade reading.

In middle school reading and English, the percentage not meeting state requirements didn’t climb above 10.73 percent, which is for seventh-graders. Eighth-graders had the lower percentage that did not meet state requirements, 6.77 percent.

Johnson and Bonifay said those test results include special education students and students who speak English as a second language.

Graduation test data

Graduation test data are improving in math and science, staying the same in English, but dropping in social studies in this year’s results compared to last year’s, Bonifay said.

English remained at 88 percent from 2008 to 2009.

Math climbed a point, from 92 to 93 percent.

Science scores showed the biggest gains, improving from 84 to 88 percent.

Social studies dropped, from 88 to 86 percent, Bonifay said.

Lillian E. Williams’ closing

Superintendent Ralph Jones told board members that students that were zoned for Lillian E. Williams Elementary School, which is closing, will be in West Bainbridge Elementary School’s zone.

Jones said him and other Board of Education personnel met with parents and students earlier this month at LEW, and then the students and parents were allowed to tour West Bainbridge Elementary School on May 13.

Jones said board attorney Bruce Kirbo Jr. is drafting a letter to the U.S. Justice Department explaining the school zone change, which it could deny the move. However, Jones said the racial makeup of West Bainbridge Elementary versus that of LEW shouldn’t be an issue and is hopeful the county won’t have to change its elementary school zones.

Sales tax revenue down

Chief Financial Officer Tim Matthews said Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue dropped 8 percent from March to April.

SPLOST revenue for April was $298,000, which is down from March’s collection of $365,000.

The board usually averages $413,000 a month for SPLOST revenue, Matthews said.

He was also hopeful that following the hiring freeze instituted last year that the board would be under budget.

“I would be happy to be 2 percent under budget,” Matthews said.