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Parents say too much riding on CRCT
One shot: Pass of fail
Snelson Golden 8th Graders
Eighth-graders at Snelson-Golden discuss how they feel about the tests. - photo by Photo by Frenchi Jones
Two parents sat in black leather chairs at Mirrors Beauty Salon on Friday afternoon after school let out. The women brought their children to the shop to have their hair done for Easter, but instead of talking about
the cutest “updos,” pony tails or braided styles, their conversation focused on more controversial topics concerning children — the upcoming CRCT, or Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.
The week after spring break, children all over Liberty County will be given the statewide assessment test.
For grades three, five and eight, parts of the test will determine whether they pass or fail for the year and whether their schools meet the state’s adequate yearly progress goals.  
Some parents, like Nakita Smalls-Jeffery, say they don’t mind the test, while others say they think it defeats the purpose of having teachers and yearlong school terms.
“I am not worried about the test,” Smalls-Jefferey said. “She gets good grades and if she ain’t worried about it, then I am not worried about. All I have to do is make sure she gets enough sleep, eats a good breakfast and arrives at school on time.”
Another parent, Don Ratliff, thinks his eighth-grade son J.D. will pass as well. However, his confidence in the test is not as strong.
“I don’t think there should be a test. I think that what they do in school should be sufficient enough,” Ratliff said. “That is why they have teachers and that is why they go to school.”
Although Smalls-Jefferey said she’s confident her child will pass the CRCT, she was surprised to learn her daughter Kiara, who attends Jordye Bacon Elementary School, will be taking the test right after the break.
The lack of knowledge about the test among parents is what some teachers said concerns them most. 
Victoria Peterson has been teaching third grade at Lyman Hall Elementary School for eight years.
She said she’s seen it all.
“I’ve seen children fall asleep during the test because they don’t get enough sleep at home,” she said.
“We want to make sure that parents are talking to their children.”
Juanita Jiminez, who has been teaching for 15 years, agrees with Peterson but said that in her experience, sometimes a student’s inability to pass the test doesn’t always have to do with the teacher or parents.
“Some kids, for whatever reason, are not learning what they need to learn in grades one and two,” she said. “And it is not fair that they hit the third grade and then they are penalized for something they should have learned in the years prior ... it is hard to base whether they should pass or fail on what they have learned in one year.”
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