State wants more CRCT answers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State wants more CRCT answers

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  The Dougherty County School System's investigation into CRCT erasures wasn't good enough to satisfy state leaders.

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement says school leaders did not fully explain why so many wrong answers were changed to right answers last year. It's even more suspicious now that we know scores dropped this year when state monitors oversaw the testing. Now, the state is demanding more information from the school system.

New School Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree has a meeting set up with the Erasure Study's experts to see if the school system already has the information the state's looking for or if they'll have to ask more questions to get what the state needs. The state wants more information specifically from schools that had the highest number of erasures.

It's been more than a month since the Dougherty County Schools turned in their 11 page report to the state detailing what they think causes a high number of answers to be changed from wrong to right on student's tests. Now the state wants more.

"The cases where classrooms were flagged at very high levels especially across multiple subjects. We really need a pretty substantial explanation to explain what caused that and that's the type of thing we're looking for," said  Kathleen Mathers of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement.

The school system said they couldn't tell who, when or why erasures were made. They've been asked to include who investigators talked to. School officials say the state didn't make it easy to get the information investigators needed.

"I find that surprising considering how general their initial claims were and then limiting the school system or tying our hands as far as what information they'd allow us to see," said DCSS Board Chairman David Maschke.

State officials say they're particularly concerned since Dougherty Scores on tests in those severe schools dropped this year with state monitors watching those classrooms.

"Given that the scores on the 2010 tests have dropped we feel like more explanation is needed than what we've got in their report," said Mathers.

The system is trying to get the state the answers they need, but say they might not need to look any further than their own monitors.

"If they want to know what's happening in the classroom they should look at the studies and the reports back from those people," said DCSS Public Information Officer R. D. Harter.

To realize the school system has the testing procedures in place that meet the state's requirements. 

Dr. Murfree will meet with Dr. James Wilson who prepared the systems report Friday. They hope to be able to come up with the answer they need for the state.

The state wants the system's response a week from Friday.

14 Dougherty County elementary and middle schools were listed in the moderate or severe concern categories after the state's 2009 CRCT erasure analysis. The school system is expected to release more on this years CRCT results next week.

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