Kathy Collins sounded like a proud mom last week.
The assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the McDuffie County school system knew the pressure had been on some of her students, and she found out that they performed superbly.
With third graders newly required by Georgia law to pass the Criterion Reference Competency Test to be promoted, McDuffie County school officials had high hopes for the county's 242 third grade students.
They weren't disappointed. The school system got word last week that over 95 percent of McDuffie County third graders -- 230 of them -- passed the stringent new state requirement for promotion, leaving only 12 students to receive remediation in summer school.
"What the state did is they actually sent us ahead of time the kids who did not meet (requirements) in grade three because that was a promotion grade. So when we got these sheets in, I said 'OK now where's the rest.' But there weren't anymore," Dr. Collins said. "Then we realized very quickly that every school was accounted for, so wow."
A passing score on the CRCT is 300. The 12 students who didn't pass all scored within a few points of passing, and Dr. Collins thinks there is a chance that all of them will score high enough on the CRCT retest on June 23 and 24 to be promoted to fourth grade.
The initial scores sent by the Georgia Department of Education are promising for the rest of McDuffie County students, according to a press release from the school system.
School officials are eagerly awaiting the release of summary results which have not yet been sent. But that hasn't kept them from celebrating the good news they have already received.
"We have several teachers that 100 percent of their kids passed the CRCT," Dr. Collins said. "I feel real good about it."
All students in grades one through eight take the CRCT. The school system's press release stated that students have shown gains on the CRCT for several years.