Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests
The Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) are a set of tests administered at public schools in the state of Georgia that are designed to test the knowledge of first through eighth graders in reading, English/language arts (ELA), and mathematics, and third through eighth graders additionally in science and social studies.
Georgia law, as amended by the A+ Education Reform Act of 2000, requires that all students in grades three through eight take the CRCT in the content areas of reading, English/language arts, and mathematics. Students in grades three through eight are also assessed in science and social studies. The CRCT only assesses the content standards outlined in the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards which is the curriculum that Georgia teachers are required to teach.
The CRCT was implemented in spring 2000. That year, summative, end-of-year assessments in reading,[they are not the same] English/language arts, and mathematics were administered in grades four, six, and eight. Assessments in science and social studies (grades three through eight) were administered for the first time in spring 2002. Additionally, assessments in reading, English/language arts, and mathematics were administered in grades one, two, three, five, and seven in spring 2002.
Currently, students in grades 3, 5, and 8 are required to pass the CRCT to be promoted to the next grade. Bill HB501, a new bill currently circulating in the Georgia General Assembly, would also require first and second grade students to pass the CRCT to move to the next grade.
Students receive a report during the summer that tells them their scale score and their accuracy for all of the sections assessed on the CRCT. The scale score is used to determine if the student exceeds, meets, or does not meet state standards. If the student scores above an 850, he/she is considered to be exceeding the standards in that subject area. If the student's scale score is between 800-849 (inclusive), he/she is considered to be meeting the standards in that subject area. The state considers scores below 800 as not meeting standards. Students can also determine their accuracy on any part of the test because their score reports show the amount of questions they got right and the amount of total questions that were administered. The highest score varies between subjects, but ranges from 850 to 880.
In July 2011, an investigation uncovered that 178 teachers from the Atlanta area had been found to be cheating from as early as 2001 by falsifying test results. Aside from the teachers, 38 principals were linked to the scandal either by directly participating in the changing of wrong answers or allowing the changes to be made when they knew, or had the responsibility to know, what was going on.
- Education, Georgia Department of (2005-2008). "Georgia Department of Education — Assessment: Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests". Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- Austin, Rick; Benton, Reese, Kaiser, & Carter (2009-02-19). House Bill 501. Atlanta, GA: Georgia General Assembly.
- Lewis, Jon (2009-02-23). "New CRCT Requirements?". WSB Radio (Cox Radio, Inc.). Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "Assessments by State". MetaMetrics, Inc. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Atlanta Teachers in Scandal Told to Quit, or Else". NPR. June 15, 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "Teachers implicated in Atlanta scandal told to resign or be fired". CNN. July 15, 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.