Georgia students fail in math and reading -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia students fail in math and reading

December 16, 2002

Albany- Statewide 3rd, 5th, and 8th graders may be in trouble if they do not perform better on the CRCT, or Criterium-Referenced Competency Tests.

34% of all 8th graders failed in math, and 21% of all 5th graders failed in reading. Not this year, but eventually, students must pass those subject tests to move on to the next grade. In Dougherty County the numbers are worse.

"Our scores aren't exactly what we want them to be. We always strive to get better, but we're not going to make excuses when we fall short; we're just going to work diligently to improve those areas," says Superintendent Sally Whatley.

The new standards are part of Governor Barnes education reform, a plan many teachers opposed. But the criteria could be null and void if Governor-elect Sonny Perdue makes good on promises to overhaul the bill.

"Whatever expectations Governor-elect Perdue and our new superintendent Cathy Cox expects of us we're going to rise to the occasion," adds Whatley.

Even if that means providing extra help for students who don't meet standards to go on to the next grade.

"I think its important for people to understand we are held accountable as educators, Our teacher do a fine job, and our administrators do a fine job, but we're only part of the puzzle. Another part of the puzzle is for those parents to be involved," suggests Whatley.

And if parents, students, and educators all do their part, Whatley says she's confident the scores will get better.

Last year was the first year all students from kindergarten to eighth grade were tested. Students did perform better than previous years.

The standards for advancement for 3rd, 5th, and 8th graders are scheduled to be phased in beginning in 2004.

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