GOSA Releases 2012 Spring CRCT Analysis Results

February 20, 2013

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) today released the results of a spring 2012 erasure analysis on the standardized assessment known as the CRCT.  GOSA again partnered with CTB-McGraw Hill (CTB), the state's testing vendor in charge of developing and scoring CRCT exams, to conduct a comprehensive examination of all answer documents for grades 3 through 8.  The analysis focused on the number of wrong answers that had been changed to right answers on individual student answer sheets in Reading, English-Language Arts, and Mathematics.

“The 2012 analysis included data for approximately 125,000 test takers in every subject and grade level at which the CRCT was administered.  By looking at such a large sample, we gained a clear picture of typical student test behavior against which all schools could be compared,” said GOSA Executive Director, Bonnie Holliday. “Since the state's first CRCT erasure analysis in 2009, Georgia's school districts have taken some important steps to increase test security, eliminate potential problems, and help students who have been adversely affected by test tampering.”

In the analysis, CTB psychometricians scanned answer documents to identify total erasures per classroom, flagging those classrooms in which the number of wrong-to-right changes proved to be three standard deviations (SDs) or more above the state average.            

Based on the analysis, elementary and middle schools were placed in varying categories according to their percentage of flagged classrooms. Approximately 94% of Georgia’s elementary and middle schools fell into the "Clear of Concern" category,  meaning 6.11% of schools were flagged in the 2012 erasure analysis; 4.5% (83 schools) fell into the "Minimal Concern" category with 6% - 10% of classes flagged; 1.4% (25 schools) were determined to be in the "Moderate Concern" category with 11% - 24% of classes flagged; and only 0.2% (4 schools) were termed "Severe Concern" as defined by a school having 25% or more of its classes flagged for wrong-to-right changes.

Recommendations on which the State Board of Education will vote range from requiring local Superintendents to conduct internal investigations to determine the causes of testing irregularities, to rotating teachers during subsequent CRCT test administrations so that they administer the test to students they are not currently teaching.  In addition, state monitors will be placed in schools on the severe concern category list during the next test administration.

The CRCT is a standardized assessment given to elementary and middle school students each spring in Georgia.  The test is designed to measure the acquisition of specific content knowledge and skills of the Georgia curriculum standards. Additionally, the CRCT results serve as the criteria by which some student promotion and retention decisions are made.  In addition, other important decisions for individual students and for schools are based on CRCT data.  Therefore, it is critical that reported scores are an accurate representation of students' knowledge and skills.

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement serves as the reporting and accountability agency for education in Georgia.  As such, GOSA is charged by law with inspecting academic records of schools to ensure that education institutions are faithful to performance accountability requirements.  Through an academic audit, GOSA reviews student assessment data and other school records reported to the State to confirm accuracy and explore the effectiveness of local initiatives in improving achievement.