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Thursday, July 9, 2009 - 10:49am

From the Board Meeting: CRCT Fallout, Shorter School Weeks?

The State Board of Education has thrown out CRCT test results at four elementary schools found to have altered answer sheets. The board also implemented a plan allowing for shorter school weeks in an effort to save money.

 On the CRCT aftermath: The State Board of Education followed the recommendations of a state audit in throwing out the results.

The audit also found that none of the four schools- Metro Atlanta’s Deerwood Academy, Atherton Elementary, Parklane Elementary, and Glynn County’s Burroughs Molette Elementary- would have made adequate yearly progress without tampering with the tests. By failing to meet adequate yearly progress, the schools may now have to turn over money connected to the designation. The parents of the one hundred or so students who had their answers changed will be notified. The kids won't have to retake the tests.

On the shorter school week plan: It's all about the money.

The idea behind this flex schedule plan is that schools will save money on bussing, heating, and other utilities if the week is shortened. Georgia law mandates that public school students receive at least 990 instructional hours per year in the classroom, says Georgia Department of Education spokesman Dana Tofig. "So if you want to spread those out over one hundred sixty days, instead of one hundred eighty days, this law allows you to do that." So far, only one rural school district has announced they will change to a flex schedule option. Almost all school calendars for the next year have been already been set. There have been no estimates on how much the plan could save on statewide education funding. Some parents are concerned about additional child care costs they could have to cover if the schools start taking a three day weekend.