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Desire to improve ITBS scores triumphs over calendar changes in Georgia

TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2011 07:09 AM

David Banks, a Post 5 board member who represents East and Northeast Cobb County, Georgia, recently recommended that students begin school on August 8 for the 2011-2012 academic year, Smyrna-Vining's Patch website reports.

This suggestion was turned down by the Cobb County Board of Education. Vice Chairman Scott Sweeney cited the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) as one of the reasons why he did not want this plan to be put into place.

According to its website, the ITBS is a voluntary assessment given to students between kindergarten and the eighth grade.

Sweeney said during a Board of Education meeting that the county must focus on improving their ITBS scores in the next academic year. When the schools have used an early start date in the past, over 40 percent of the institutions did not see improvement in their testing results.

He said that the cause of this may be that the new calendar reduced students' attendance in many of the schools in the county. For example, attendance decreased by as much as 24 percent at Pebblebrook, Oakwood, Kell and Campbell high school when the institutions used the new calendar, the news outlet reports.