Muscogee County School District earns a C on new measurement of Georgia public school performance

mrice@ledger-enquirer.comMay 7, 2013 

The Muscogee County School District earned the equivalent of a C for its elementary, middle and high schools from the state's new system that measures how well students are learning in Georgia's public schools.

The Georgia Department of Education released its College and Ready Performance Index on Monday.

Georgia was among the 10 states granted a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act in February 2012. The state created a new accountability system to replace the Adequate Yearly Progress measurement. The CCRPI is considered a more comprehensive rating of schools and school districts than AYP.

Instead of measuring performance based on one standardized test for only reading and math on an unfamiliar scale, the CCRPI comprises several indicators, including all four core subjects, with a maximum score of 100 -- like the grades students receive in class. The CCRPI formula has three parts:

• 70 percent for achievement on the state's standardized tests and graduation rates or graduation rate predictor.

• 15 percent for progress on those tests.

• 15 percent for closing the achievement gap between the lowest quarter of students and the state average on those tests.

The school district's system-wide averages were 70.1 for elementary schools, 70.9 for middle schools and 78.3 for high schools. The state averages were 83.4 for elementary schools, 81.4 for middle schools and 72.6 for high schools.

Harris County's averages were 80.7 for elementary schools, 90.7 for its middle school and 77.9 for its high school. Chattahoochee County's averages were 87.1 for its elementary school, 71.4 for its middle school and 62.3 for its high school.

Local education administrators welcomed the more comprehensive CCRPI compared to AYP, but they cautioned reading too much into the results because this is the first year of the new system and they are based on standardized test scores from spring 2012.

The school district's chief academic officer Ronie Collins said school leaders will be "drilling down and looking at each domain area to see whether we have to add rigor to our curriculum and make decisions on our teaching and learning."

Harris County superintendent Craig Dowling said he is pleased with his district's overall scores, but he cautioned his principals because the data is a year old.

"We'll identify from these first scores where our areas of concern could be," he said. "When we get the 2013 scores, we will develop strategies and address those areas."

Chattahoochee County superintendent Jimmy Martin praised his elementary school's score but expressed concern about the middle and high schools.

"Obviously, there's room for improvement," he said. "In the past, the high school was measured by the graduation exam. Now, it's by the end-of-course tests, so that's a challenge for our folks."ONLINE ONLY

For a link to the complete College and Career Ready Performance Index for all public schools and school districts in Georgia, click on this story at www.ledger-enquirer.com.

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