Oh the CRCT!
Several months ago I contacted the Georgia Department of Education Testing Division. I wanted to learn and understand the scoring values of the CRCT. As a teacher, I’ve worked in the school systems and have been exposed to the hype that is promoted to children, parents and teachers of the importance of passing the CRCT. While standardized testing is historically part of the educational landscape, it can be difficult for parents to understand what it actually represents for their child. In fact, I couldn’t even get a straight answer from the state testing coordinator.
What is the Purpose of the CRCT?
According to the Georgia Department of Education, “The CRCT is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the state mandated content standards in reading, English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The assessments yield information on academic achievement at the student, class, school, system, and state levels. This information is used to diagnose individual student strengths and weaknesses as related to the instruction of the state standards, and to gauge the quality of education throughout Georgia.”
What Parents Need to Know!
Every June parents receive information about their child’s performance on the CRCT. It gives percentages, but it doesn’t break it down to the specifics of what the child has mastered and what specific areas where they may need help. A child may understand adding fractions with like denominators, but have no idea how to add or subtract fractions with unlike denominators. The CRCT doesn’t provide this detail. Why not? If we are testing children, then why shouldn’t we expect this information to be provided in specific details to parents?
Now imagine this:
A Score of 800 states a child “Meets the Standard”. This is the score the state indicates how a child has performed. What a majority of parents don’t realize is if a score of 800 is achieved it roughly means the child only had to score approximately 48-49% of the questions accurately. When a parent receives this information, this may provide a false sense of security that their child’s academic performance is on the right track.
Education is not about just Meeting the Standards of a CRCT standardized test. In the reality of life 48%-49% wouldn’t even measure as success. Education is about learning problem solving, life skills, collaboration, creativity and being a citizen who will eventually merge into the work force.
Teachers and School Administrators have their hands tied when it comes to the CRCT. They are doing everything humanly possible for student learning. Teachers need more protected planning time, but they are overwhelmed with meetings, documentation, paperwork, etc. They have very little time available to focus on actual lesson planning.
The focus should be at the state level where they have the control to make the decisions.
If 48% is acceptable as passing then the US will continue their downward spiral in comparison to the rest of the world.
It’s time to demand change.
Denise Detamore is the Founder/Director of Advantage Learning Cooperative Educational Center. A Center Dedicated to Educational Change, Awareness and Exceptional Programs of Study. http://www.advantagelearningcoop.com/