Schools offer summer courses to help students pass CRCT

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Georgia test scores show hundreds of local students are not ready to move on to the next grade level.

The CRCT shows whether students are ready to advance to the next grade level.

Students who did not pass will get a second chance at the end of the month, so hundreds are in summer school to prove they understand basic reading and math.

Steven Mooney is helping fifth grade students get back to basics.

The students work for hours straight on the practice test...and Mr. Mooney is very clear about the goal. It's written on the board: "I will pass the math CRCT."

Summer school principal Joe Moore says that encouragement is also important for reading.

The CRCT compares school systems across the state on both subjects.

"The students that are well-prepared and comfortable...they'll do well on the test," Moore says.

This is the first year that doing well determines whether eighth graders move to high school.

Dr. Carol Rountree with the Richmond County School Board says that pressure could explain why more than 1000 did not pass.

"They are much more concerned with what they're doing and how it's going to count," she says.

The same test already determined whether third and fifth graders advance.

Misty Gleason with the Sylvan Learning Center works with students outside the classroom. She says many need to learn how to take the test.

"You are testing their skills, and part of those skills are their attentional abilities to stay focused--and these are long tests," Gleason says.

It's summer school's goal to help the kids work through the long tests, lots of material, and the pressure to pass.

The next test is June 26. Students in the first through eighth grades take the CRCT to measure how well they understand core subjects. Students in third, fifth, and eighth grades have to pass the reading test to move up. Fifth and eighth graders also have to pass math.

In Richmond County, 616 third graders, 743 fifth graders, and 378 eighth graders did not meet standards in reading. In math, 486 fifth graders and 917 eighth graders did not get passing scores.

In Columbia County, 120 third graders, 128 fifth graders, and 76 eighth graders did not pass reading. 98 fifth graders and 212 eighth graders failed math.