CRCT scores better the second time around - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

CRCT scores better the second time around

By Sarah Baldwin - bio | email

July 29, 2008

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Scores of Decatur County students will start high school this week.  For some, that was up in the air until recently.  Due to a new curriculum, tougher than any that's come before it, 50% of the 8th graders here failed the math CRCT when they took it last spring.  "The 8th grade, because there was such a huge failure rate, there actually were not enough teachers, we didn't have enough math teachers to run a summer school," says Dr. Suzi Bonifay, Assistant Superintendent for Decatur County Schools.

Not to mention many students had passed the class, but failed the test. They faced losing their summer vacation, and possibly repeating 8th grade. They came up with another solution, but one that required a lot of work.  "We ran a math boot camp the last two weeks of school.  They spent 5 hours a day, these students did math," says Bonifay.

Dr. Susan Grubbs, head of the math department at Hutto Middle School headed up the boot camp.  "We each took a set of children and went back through all the standards, all the skills as quickly and efficiently as possible to try and make up for the gap."

Tiring work, but it paid off when the results came back.  Bonifay reveals, "In 8th grade, the one that was so hotly contested, we went from a 50% pass rate on the initial to a 77% pass rate. "  That means over half the kids who went through boot camp passed the retest, and will start 9th grade on Friday.

"I think each year we'll see that improve. I think this year's incoming 9th graders know more math than any group of incoming freshman ever have, across the state," says Bonifay.  And while it took a little more time and effort, it's getting there that's important. .

Decatur county school officials say with their "boot camp" method, they actually had a higher pass rate during re-testing than some other south Georgia counties who did full blown summer school.

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