Nearly two-thirds of the public schools in Columbus “beat the odds” by scoring better in the state’s accountability system than statistically expected last year.
According to data from the Georgia Department of Education, 64 percent of the Muscogee County School District’s 53 schools are considered 2016 Beat the Odds Schools by earning a College and Career Ready Performance Index score better than the state’s formula predicted. That includes 66 percent of the district’s 32 elementary schools, 50 percent of its 12 middle schools and 78 percent of its nine high schools.
Statewide, 1,037 of Georgia’s 2,140 public schools (48 percent) that received CCRPI scores in 2016 are Beat the Odds Schools.
MCSD also overwhelmingly outperformed in this measurement the other school district’s serving second-tier cities in Georgia. Bibb County (Macon) has 41 percent of its schools on the Beat the Odds list, Chatham County (Savannah) has 32 percent and Richmond County (Augusta) has 29 percent.
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The GaDOE says its Beat the Odds formula considers the school’s size, grade cluster, student mobility and student demographics, including race/ethnicity, disability, English learners and poverty.
Three MCSD schools – Early College Academy, Jordan Vocational High School and Kendrick High School – and the Chattahoochee County Education Center are among the 271 in the state that have been Beat the Odds Schools each of the past five years. Hollis Hand and Rosemont elementary schools in Troup County, Mountain View Elementary School in Meriwether County and Webster County High School are other Columbus area schools also on the five-year Beat the Odds list.
All seven of MCSD’s chronically failing schools beat the odds in 2016: Baker and Eddy middle schools and Davis, Dorothy Height, Forrest Road, Martin Luther King Jr. and South Columbus elementary schools. Chronically failing schools have CCRPI scores below 60 on the 100-point scale in each of the past three years. Carver Elementary School in Terrell County, Central-Talbotton Elementary/High School, Chattahoochee County Middle School, Manchester Middle School, Randolph-Clay Middle School and Stewart County Elementary School are other chronically failing schools in the Columbus area with Beat the Odds status.
MCSD superintendent David Lewis told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email Tuesday, “I am very gratified by the continued academic growth that is occurring in these schools, which is surpassing that of similar schools statewide as evidenced by these results. I am particularly pleased that of the 153 schools designated as ‘chronically failing’ statewide, only 21 of them beat the odds in 2016 and Baker Middle, Eddy Middle and South Columbus Elementary were among those 21 schools.”
Asked what MCSD has done to get these results, Lewis said, “These results are a testament to the focused, hard work by the students, teachers, administrators, district personnel and school communities based on district-wide improvement plan initiated over the past three years. This framework provides differentiated resources and support contingent upon the demonstrated needs of each school community.”
Asked what MCSD is doing to help the rest of its schools beat the odds, Lewis said, “We will continue to implement the plan that has yielded the district-wide improvement to date, closely monitor progress with respect to each school's individual needs and make strategic adjustments as necessary.”
2016 ‘Beat the Odds’ schools
▪ MUSCOGEE COUNTY
Elementary schools: Allen, Britt David, Dawson, Dimon, Downtown, Eagle Ridge, Fox, Gentian, Georgetown, Hannan, Johnson, Key, Lonnie Jackson, Mathews, Midland, North Columbus, Reese Road, Rigdon Road, River Road, South Columbus and St. Marys Road.
Middle schools: Aaron Cohn, Baker, Blackmon Road, Double Churches, Eddy and Fort.
High schools: Carver, Columbus, Early College, Hardaway, Jordan, Kendrick and Northside.
▪ OTHER COLUMBUS AREA COUNTIES
Elementary schools: Chattahoochee County, Clay County, Ethel W. Kight, Hogansville, Hollis Hand, Long Cane, Mulberry Creek, New Mountain Hill, Mountain View, Pine Ridge, Rosemont, Schley County, West Point and Whitesville Road.
Middle schools: Clay County, Harris County Carver, Stewart County, Sumter County Intermediate and Terrell County.
High schools: Americus-Sumter, Chattahoochee County, Harris County, Quitman County, Terrell County and Webster County.