Georgia students are performing better on statewide standardized tests, according to results released Tuesday. The rising scores come as the state prepares to shift to tougher federal testing standards.
The annual tests, known as the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, gauge what students are learning and also measure schools’ progress. The results show more Georgia students are meeting or exceeding standards. The highest gains were seen in tests for fifth and eighth grade math, and sixth and seventh grade social studies.
State Superintendent John Barge said overall, Georgia students are improving. But he warned of the changes ahead.
“While I’m pleased with the results we see today, I know as the new federal criteria comes into play in the 2014-2015 school year, the expectation is we will see these numbers decrease,” he told reporters.
Barge said that’s typical whenever the state switches to more rigorous tests.
Suzanne Griffin-Ziebart is a deputy superintendent with the district. She says she’s eager for the state’s shift to tougher federal test standards in two years because it will push students to achieve more.
But she says that may initially lead to lower scores, and schools need to prepare for that possibility.
“Without a broad-base of knowledge around what exactly is happening, it could be misinterpreted and it could be discouraging rather than motivating.”
Statewide, the highest gains were seen in tests for fifth and eighth grade math, and sixth and seventh grade social studies.
Most of the state’s major school systems saw minute changes in reading and math test scores.
For example, third-grade mean reading scores rose in the Savannah, Augusta and Columbus districts. But schools in Athens, Columbus and Augusta saw small dips in mean third grade math scores.
The state released scores by school district. Results for individual schools aren’t available yet.