Why are students tested?
Teachers and school systems use tests to know how children are doing in school. Standardized tests serve several purposes. In Chatham County, they are used by the superintendent, school board, supervisors, principals, and teachers to:
• Diagnose individual student strengths and weaknesses.
• Focus learning and instruction to state standards and key concepts.
• Motivate improved student, school, district, and state performance.
• Report how well schools are performing and improving to the public.
• Evaluate school program quality and recommend improvements.
A testing program is only one of several tools used to evaluate children's performance. Children are never measured on the basis of one test alone. WCES students have the oppertunity to take the following standardized tests dring their school career here:
About the CRCT
The Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Test is designed to measure student achievement relative to the content standards of the GPS curricula. Students in grades 1 – 5 participate in the reading, English/language arts, and mathematics subject area tests; and students in grades 3 – 5 participate in additional tests in science and social studies. In GPS-aligned areas, a score of 800 or above indicates performance which meets the state standard, and a score of 850 or above exceeds the standard. Passing scores are those which either meet or exceed the state standard. Third-grade students are required to pass the reading portion of the CRCT in order to be promoted to the fourth grade, while students in the fifth grade must pass both reading and math in order to advance to the next grade. Students who do not pass these areas on the first attempt in the spring have a second opportunity to test before summer.
About the ITBS
The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills is administered to students in grades 3 and 5 during the fall semester. Unlike Georgia’s CRCT, the ITBS is nationally normed and administered throughout the country. It includes separate assessments in the areas of reading, language, mathematics, social studies, science, and sources of information. The test also provides an overall measure of achievement referred to as the composite score. The scores presented in the report are expressed as national percentile ranks … not to be confused with percent correct scores. The national percentile ranks reported indicate how well a typical student within a particular grade performed relative to a representative national sample of students taking this test (the norm group). The 50th percentile, the score that divides the upper and lower half of the scores, represents the national average, while scores between the 25th and 75th percentile represent the average range. Scores below the 25th percentile or above the 75th percentile are considered to be below or above average, respectively.