Georgia Department of Education Makes Changes to School Evaluations Index

Recently the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) calculated each of school’s 2018 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores using a newly revamped scoring system. According to GaDOE, the scores serve as “a comprehensive school improvement, accountability, and communication platform for all educational stakeholders that will promote college and career readiness for all Georgia public school students.” Basically, the scores serve as a way to evaluates of a

school from a specific time period. “[CCPRI scores] are comprised of snapshots of a school during a given period and are important for [Lakeside] to look at along with other data,” said Assistant Principal of Instruction Dr. Lillie Granger. Other popular ways to assess a school during a time period besides CCRPI scores include Niche and SchoolDigger (online services that compile school data from a specific time period to calculate their respective evaluations for a school). The GaDOE made changes that caused the scores published a statement saying that “2018 scores are NOT comparable to any prior year. Any comparison, or statement that a school or district's scores have ‘risen' or ‘dropped,' is incorrect.” “I wish [GaDOE] would keep a consistent scoring system because consistently changing the calculations makes this whole thing relatively useless,” said Lakeside parent Lauren Shepard.

Superintendent Richard Woods designed the new system. CCRPI uses six categories to calculate their final scores according to the GaDOE: Content Mastery, Progress, Closing Gaps, Readiness, Graduation Rate, School Climate, Financial Efficiency. “I thought the CCPRI scores from last year made all the high performing schools look really good and more reflected ‘quality' as parents see it ,” said Lakeside parent Chad Williams. “The adjustments seem to intend to show more ‘quality' from the perspective of how good a job the staff are doing considering the hand they've been dealt.” The elementary schools have a statewide average of 77.8, middle schools have an average score of 76.2, and high schools have an average score of 75.3. The state average for all schools leads to 76.6.

While we can't compare old scores to new ones, we can still use them for comparing districts. Among the five local school districts, Gwinnett County Public Schools had the best elementary school score, followed by Fulton County, Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County, and DeKalb County. Gwinnett also led in middle school scores with the other districts in the same descending order except for Cobb and Atlanta, which swapped places. Cobb did best among high schools, trailed by Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Atlanta. Atlanta and DeKalb did not succeed at beating the state averages for those three grade clusters. Despite DeKalb's below average report, the school district includes the best-scoring metro high school and middle school: DeKalb Early College Academy earned 96 points; Kittredge Magnet School earned 98.1. Georgia's new scoring system diminishes the impact of test results by giving schools credit for providing non-core academic opportunities in areas such as the arts, foreign language, physical education, and advanced coursework. However, this does not mean test scores no longer use them at all; roughly 80 percent of the report derives from high-stakes test results according to a statement from Woods. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appreciated the design, former Governor Nathan Deal rejected it, stating it “falls short in setting high expectations” and “tells school districts how to run their schools.”

Despite the reduced reliance on test scores, this new version of the CCRPI still mainly a measure of student performance on the Georgia Milestones and End of Course Test (EOCs). State and federal law mandate the reliance on tests. But the federal government allows states some leeway for alternatives.

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