Monday, October 16, 2006

Passing Students Who Fail Promotion Test

The State of Georgia requires 3rd, 5th and 8th grade students to take the CRCT, or Criterion-Referenced Competency Test. They are supposed to pass this test, showing whether or not they are working at their grade level, before being promoted to the next grade. Those who fail can take the test again. There is a waiver available to students who, at the principal's discretion, are performing well in class but fall just short of passing the CRCT. Sounds fair to me. Certainly no single test should determine if a student is prepared to advance. That being said...

Here in Bibb County, nearly 1,100 students in those three grade levels in Spring 2006 failed the CRCT and the retest. Of those, only 71 were held back. More than 93% who failed were passed on to the next grade.

None of the 432 eighth-grade students who failed were held back. Not a single one.

Is it possible that every single eighth-grade student who failed the test were actually working at or above grade level? The odds on that must be astronomical. Or is it more likely that the principals chose to simply overlook the CRCT scores and socially promote nearly every one of these students?