First rule when in a ditch, stop digging

July 12, 2013 

Just in case you missed it, several schools made improvements on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, but there is a telling paragraph in The Telegraph July 10 story: “Though some of the most troubled schools lost even more ground, schools that had low passing rates generally posted strong gains from last year’s results.”

That one paragraph is one of hope with a smidgen of despair. In Bibb County, Bruce, Burghard and Hartley elementary schools added 11 percentage points to their passing rates, but in truth, the only direction for those schools was up.

Bruce, for example, had a passing rate of 49.7 percent for all the CRCT in the 2010-11 school year; Burghard, 47.5 and Hartley. 44.5. We should applaud all gains with the understanding that those schools have at least stopped digging, but they are in a deep hole and we should continue to expect large advances over prior years.

There are 31 Bibb CRCT schools (tests given in grades three through eight) and 15 had an 80 percent or more passing rate. Three, Vineville, Springdale and Alexander II passed over 90 percent of its students. Houston County had 28 CRCT schools -- 21 had a passing rate over 80 percent and 15 of those over 90 percent. Eighty-percent of students at all six Jones County’s schools passed the CRCTs.

Teachers at Dublin City Schools’ Moore Street School should get an extra round of applause. While only 44.5 percent of its students passed the CRCT for 2012-13 school year, only 8.3 percent passed the year before.

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