College, career readiness

Coweta schools score higher than state

by Celia Shortt

The Georgia Department of Education released the results of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index earlier this week, and schools in Coweta County continued to score higher than the state average.

“Our teachers, staff and students continue to work hard, and our performance this year as a school system has exceeded the state average on this new accountability tool,” said Coweta County Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker.

The CCRPI is Georgia’s new educational accountability system. It uses a broad set of academic criteria to measure Georgia’s public schools and school systems as a whole. The criteria includes three major areas: Achievement (60 possible points), Progress (25 possible points), and Achievement Gap (15 possible points). Consequently, the report of those areas will compile a single score for schools and districts.

In the 2012-13 school year, averages for Coweta County School System’s 19 elementary schools, six middle schools and three high schools were:

• The Coweta County School System (overall) – 77.4 (compared to a state score of 75.8 for all Georgia public high schools).

• Coweta elementary schools – 76.2 (compared to a state score of 77.8 for all Georgia public elementary schools).

• Coweta middle schools – 79.9 (compared to a state score of 74.6 for all Georgia public middle schools).

• Coweta high schools – 74.8 (compared to a state score of 71.8 for all Georgia public high schools).

Arbor Springs Elementary School and Elm Street Elementary School had the highest score for Coweta elementary schools with 90.2 for each. Ruth Hill Elementary had the lowest with a score of 65.9.

Madras Middle School scored the highest for Coweta middle schools with a score of 87.3, and Smokey Road Middle School had the lowest with 77.6. For high schools, Northgate scored the highest with 82.7, and East Coweta had the lowest with 69.1.

The Georgia Department of Education began using the CCRPI in May 2013 to measure student data from the 2011-2012 school year. In 2014, they revised it after doing some analysis and receiving feedback on the initial report. Due to the revision, the scores were released much later than planned.

Barker said the delay caused some difficulties for the school system.

“Any lessons that we can learn from last year’s performance would have been much more useful to our schools at the beginning of the school year,” he said. “The CCRPI is a complex instrument that measures a broad range of data. It isn’t a pass-fail instrument, and it can help schools and systems set benchmarks for school improvement planning. It can be a useful tool that reflects progress of our schools over time.”

“It is important for our teachers, principals and community to know that the indicators and standards in the CCRPI have changed in only the second year of implementation. It is also important to note that the release of last school year’s data has come to us nearly at the end of this school year,” he added.

With the new CCRPI score calculations, student achievement points will comprise 60 percent of the score. Previously, it was 70 percent. That 10 percent will be relocated to student progress, as 25 percent of the total score will now represent student growth. Last year, it was 15 percent. The gap between the lower and higher scores will still account for 15 percent of the score.

The DoE believes these new calculations have increased the rigor of the CCRPI.

CCRPI replaced the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measurement in Georgia, and the U.S. Department of Education gave Georgia a waiver from it in 2012. The waiver required an accountability system of increased rigor and higher student benchmarks than previous accountability measures.

CCRPI uses a much broader set of achievement data than NCLB did to calculate student and system achievement. It was designed to give all students who graduate from high school an education with both rigorous content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge.

The data and weighting systems the CCRPI uses are also complex. High school data is compiled using 44 different types of data, middle schools 23, and elementary schools 21.

“With such a wide range of focus areas in one school accountability instrument, there will be a period of analysis and adjustment for our schools,” said Barker. “That is why I hope that the indicators that appear in the CCRPI report will be left in place for next year, and why I hope that data from this school year will be released to us much earlier. If that occurs, then this will be a useful tool for school improvement planning.”

In addition to releasing data and scoring for the 2012-13 school year, the DoE also released recalculated CCRPI scoring for the 2011-2012 school year reflecting the new calculation, in order to provide more valid comparisons for CCRPI reports going forward. The revised 2011-12 school year averages for Coweta County School System’s 19 elementary schools, six middle schools and three high schools were:

• The Coweta County School System (overall) – 78.8 (compared to a state score of 74.1 for all Georgia public high schools)

• Coweta elementary schools – 76.4 (compared to a state score of 74.5 for all Georgia public elementary schools)

• Coweta middle schools – 79.2 (compared to a state score of 73.8 for all Georgia public middle schools)

• Coweta high schools – 80.4 (compared to a state score of 72.6 for all Georgia public high schools).



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