ViewPoint: The Criterion Reference Competency Test

June 5, 2008

The Criterion Reference Competency Test, or C.R.C.T., is an important measuring stick of students' academic progress that Georgia public school students must pass to progress toward graduation.

The most recent round of testing produced so many problems that the state school superintendent felt obliged to throw out sixth and seventh grade social studies test results.

In the classroom, where the education rubber meets the road, teachers agreed.

Some teachers we spoke with said that their students encountered material on the new CRCT that had not been covered in the curriculum.

Of course, the test questions cannot be given out in advance, but those in command should be sure that the classroom teacher has a chance to present the material that will be tested.

Now educators in many other counties, are scrambling to play catch-up, with 'boot camps' and summer school for the students, in an effort to recover from the damage of dreadful scores.

Standardized tests, for better or worse, are the yardstick by which education is measured, and they are here to stay.   There wasn't enough time or information for them to adapt to a brand new exam.   Schools were bound to fail.  Let's hope those in charge learned their school lesson and will let schools get better prepared for future tests.