School district exceeds state average on test
by Michelle Babcock
June 26, 2013 12:00 AM | 2406 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Results released Tuesday for a statewide performance test show Cherokee County School District students exceeded the state averages, and public schools in the county continued to improve.

Scores for the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Tests are reported as the percentage of students who exceed, meet or do not meet the Georgia Performance Standards in the subjects of reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

“In all subject areas, CCSD saw a higher percentage of students to exceed or meet standards than the state,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo. “The percentage of CCSD students who exceed standards topped the state by an average of 13 points. CCSD grew its percentage of students who exceed standards in 18 of 30 possible categories.”

Petruzielo said despite the federal sequestration, state austerity budget cuts, a slowly recovering tax digest and changing demographics, CCSD students continue to excel. The school superintendent said the percent of students in Cherokee County who receive free or reduced-price lunches is up from 19 percent in 2004 to 32 percent in 2013.

“There is no limit to our students’ potential, and GCRCT results are being analyzed at the district and school level to identify improvement areas and action plans,” Petruzielo said.

The GCRCT are administered to students in third to eighth grades every spring and help determine if students will move on to the next grade. The tests were not administered to first and second grades because of budget constraints, according to the Georgia Department of Education.

“Passage of the reading test in grades three, five and eight, and of the mathematics test in grades five and eight, help determine if students will be promoted,” Petruzielo said. “CCSD students improved their performance in these areas, as compared to 2012 results.”

Out of more than 3,000 CCSD students who took the third-grade reading test, 97 percent passed on their first try, an increase from 96 percent in 2012. The state average for students who passed the third-grade reading test is 92 percent, up from 91 percent in 2012.

Almost 3,000 CCSD students took the fifth-grade reading test, and the passing rate improved to 97 percent from 96 percent last year. For the fifth-grade mathematics test, the rate of students who passed was 93 percent, a jump from 88 percent in 2012.

The statewide average of students who passed the fifth-grade reading test is 93 percent, up from 91percent in 2012. Statewide for fifth grade mathematics, 90 percent of students passed, up from 84 percent in 2012.

For the almost 3,000 CCSD students who participated in the eighth-grade reading test, 98.8 percent passed, a slight increase from 98.6 percent. Eighth grade mathematics test performance also improved from 89 percent passing in 2012 to 93 percent in 2013.

Statewide, 97 percent of eighth-grade students passed the reading test, up from 96 percent in 2012. For the eighth-grade mathematics test, the state average was 83 percent, up from 77 percent in 2012.

“Despite the heightened rigor associated with new student performance standards, CCSD increased performance or held steady in the majority of categories,” Petruzielo said.

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