Dougherty schools rank under state average - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty schools rank under state average

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Georgia Department of Education created the College and Career Ready Performance Index to provide a comprehensive look at how schools are doing.

The state agency said the average score for Georgia's elementary schools is 83.4; middle schools is 81.4 and high schools is 72.6.   

These numbers for Dougherty County are: 68.2 for elementary, middle school 72, and high school 57.4.

For high schools, the bright spot was Westover, which fell under the state average with a 68.

But the other three were far worse: Albany High had 55.4, Monroe had 52.3, and Dougherty had 50.7.

  • There were some other bright spots in the report:

Robert Cross Middle  95
Lake Park Elementary  91
Lincoln Magnet School 92
Lamar Reese   89
Merry Acres    80
International Charter 82

 

The new rankings replace the old Adequate Yearly Progress system implemented under the federal No Child Left Behind law.      

The scores are based on student achievement, student progress and success in closing achievement gaps on state tests.

For high schools, factors include the percent of students scoring meets or exceeds on end-of-course tests, the percent of graduates entering college without needing remediation and student attendance.

Georgia's College and Career Ready Performance Index Released

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge today released the first-ever Georgia College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) that measures schools and school districts on an easy-to-understand 100 point scale.

The CCRPI is the new accountability system that replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurement in Georgia. The U.S. Department of Education granted Georgia's waiver from NCLB on Feb. 9, 2012.

 "The Dougherty County School System will use the data reported today to help students achieve at higher levels," said Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely. "I have said since coming on board that higher student performance comes with having the right teachers in the classrooms and having the right leadership for the schools. We are working hard to ensure that those key people are in place in our system. We are also taking advantage of opportunities to drive school improvement with the support of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants. It will take a little time, but new district leadership and initiatives, already approved by our Board of Education, will help us turn around low achieving schools."

The CCRPI will help parents and the public better understand how schools are performing in a more comprehensive manner than the pass/fail system previously in place under AYP.

Interpreting the CCRPI results

The Index includes scores that easily communicate to the public how a school is doing. Each school receives a score out of 100 points, just like what students receive in their classes.

A school and district's overall score, is made up of three major areas: Achievement (70 points possible), Progress (15 points possible) and Achievement Gap (15 points possible). Dougherty County received  system scores of 68.2 for elementary grades, 72 for middle, and 57.4 for high schools for this 2012 benchmark year. In addition to the three major areas, some schools receive "Challenge Points" to add to their score (up to 10 points).

They receive these points if they have a significant number of Economically Disadvantaged students, English Learner students and Students with Disabilities meeting expectations. Systems also receive points for going beyond the targets of the CCRPI by challenging students to exceed expectations and participate in college and career readiness programs. Beginning in 2013-2014, schools will also receive ratings based on their financial efficiency and school climate, but these ratings will be for the public's information only and will not factor into the school's overall CCRPI score.

The Index supports the state's core educational principles:

  • exemplary student achievement that prepares all for success in college and careers
  • effective teaching and leadership in all schools
  • innovative school improvement, particularly in low performing schools
  • reduction in the duplicative reporting requirements for local school districts

"I am very pleased that we now have a school improvement measure as in-depth as the College and Career Ready Performance Index," said Superintendent Barge. "We are no longer bound by the narrow definitions of success found in the Adequate Yearly Progress measurement. Holding schools accountable and rewarding them for the work they do in all subjects and with all students is critical in preparing our students to be college and career ready. The index effectively measures how schools prepare our students for success."

While measures that provide a more comprehensive assessment of student and school performance was needed, the new measures will take some familiarity and adjustment for parents and community members.

"Changes in Georgia student testing, new common curriculum, and changes in the accountability measures for schools coming into effect this year are bringing reports that may be very alarming to parents and our community," said Dr. Ufot Inyang, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Dougherty County. "Because of these new measures and methods of data collection there may be 20 to 40 point drops in academic performance reports in some areas this year."

It should be pointed out that these drops are not going to be exclusive to the Dougherty County School System but will carry a similar impact across the state. The data used to compute academic success for schools has undergone significant changes since last reported by the state department of education. The methodology for the release of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports is no longer used, although the tests used for that measure are still incorporated in the new calculations.

"We recognize that we have a lot of work to do to improve academic performance across the board," continued Inyang, "and we are preparing teachers for improved instruction in line with the rigor associated with the Common Core Performance Standards."

What is college and career readiness?

The Index has been designed around a comprehensive definition of college and career readiness, or the level of achievement required in order for a student to enroll in two- or four-year colleges and universities and technical colleges without remediation, fully prepared for college-level work and careers. This means that all students graduate from high school with both rigorous content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge.

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