Parents of third graders in Chatham County have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). The test determines whether or not the student can move on to the fourth grade.
After months of preparations and after taking several test exams, the final results of this test really shocked a lot of people. Since the school year started, the pressure on third grade students to perform has been overwhelming. With close to half of the third grade population in Chatham County expected to fail the reading portion of the state's exam, the odds of succeeding looked bleak.
"They were saying we would have 1,000 children failing the test," said third grade teacher Gladys Smalls. "I think that opened the eyes for a lot of parents, and when the legislators actually went back and supported the fact that these children will fail third grade, it encouraged parents to become a little more involved in their children's education."
After teachers underwent additional training, and after three years of restructuring learning programs, almost 90 percent of all third graders met or exceeded state standards. Now Chatham County third graders are ranking among some of the state's best counties.
"I think what we saw this year has much to do with what moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas and other caretakers [did] as well as what was happening in our classrooms," said John O'Sullivan, the school system's superintendent. "And now we've got a partnership going where everybody sees how important it is."
For those students that didn't pass, they get another chance to take the CRCT this summer. If you have any questions just contact your school.