New CCRPI measures Georgia school performance. Here’s how Columbus area compares.

Muscogee County Public Education Center
Muscogee County Public Education Center

The new way Georgia measures the performance of its public schools shows familiar results: The Muscogee County School District continues to lag behind the state average but outperforms most of its similar districts.

The 2018 College and Career Ready Performance Index score for MCSD is 71.7, and the state average is 76.6, according to the Georgia Department of Education, which released the scores Monday.

Although the CCRPI scores still are on a 100-point scale, the formula has been revised to such a degree that this year’s scores aren’t comparable to previous years, the GaDOE says.

So after the fourth straight year of improvement MCSD achieved on the 2017 CCRPI, the 2018 results will serve as a baseline for future years.

Looking at the performance of the school districts in Georgia’s other second-tier cities, Muscogee’s 71.7 ranks second out of the four. That’s slightly behind Chatham County (Savannah) 71.9 and significantly ahead of Bibb County (Macon) 67.2 and Richmond County (Augusta) 68.3. MCSD had been ahead of all those districts in the previous version of the CCRPI.

The CCRPI was redesigned as part of the state’s plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, GaDOE communications director Meghan Frick told the Ledger-Enquirer via email.

“We provided extensive public feedback opportunities during our the process of developing our ESSA state plan — including eight in-person feedback sessions across the state, survey opportunities, an open email address for feedback and even social media chats,” Frick said. “. . . We heard that people wanted a simpler, more streamlined, easier-to-understand measurement that took into account the opportunities a school was offering to students, things like fine arts, physical education, world languages, career education, etc. The changes were made in direct response to that feedback.”

Regardless of the formula, the CCRPI still is the overall way the state summarizes how well public schools and districts educate their students, combining indicators such as the standardized test results from the Georgia Milestones Assessment System and graduation rates, which were released earlier this year.

Breaking down the CCRPI scores by school level, MCSD trails the state average at all three:

Elementary schools: MCSD 72.8, state 77.8.

Middle schools: MCSD 68.0, state 76.2.

High schools: MCSD 72.6, state 75.3.

“Although this year’s CCRPI results are baseline and not comparable to those of previous years due to the total revision of the calculation methodology, they are meaningful in that they establish a foundation for identifying the grades, schools and groups of students that need more, differentiated support,” MCSD superintendent David Lewis said in the school district’s news release. “Data points for each school are being reviewed and utilized to revise or adjust current school and district improvement plans. Going forward, we clearly have much work to do, but we are confident in our staff, instructional practices, and processes we have in place to meet the needs of all students.”

MCSD will try to increase its performance by continuing these efforts, the district said in its news release:
  • School improvement plans.
  • Live meetings that are conducted with school administration and facilitated by superintendent David Lewis with his senior staff via video conference technology.
  • A new math curriculum for middle schools and high schools.
  • Expansion of early literacy intervention tools.

Here are the CCRPI scores for MCSD’s schools:

Elementary schools: Britt David 96.5, Double Churches 86.1, Mathews 86.1, Clubview 83.3, Eagle Ridge 77.8, Downtown 76.0, North Columbus 75.9, Midland 75.6, Gentian 75.2, Blanchard 73.9, St. Marys 73.4, South Columbus 73.0, Rigdon Road 70.7, Hannan 69.7, Waddell 69.6, Forrest Road 69.3, Lonnie Jackson 69.1, Johnson 67.1, Dimon 67.0, Allen 65.4, Wesley Heights 64.4, Wynnton 63.7, Key 63.4. Reese Road 61.3, River Road 60.6, Fox 56.7, Georgetown 56.6, Dawson 52.1, Davis 51.5, Brewer 50.7, Dorothy Height 47.0, Martin Luther King Jr. 45.8.

Middle schools: Veterans 85.7, Aaron Cohn 79.8, Blackmon Road, 79.5, Richards 79.2, Rainey-McCullers 78.3, Midland 73.1, Double Churches 64.1, Fort 64.0, Eddy 63.7, East Columbus 62.9, Baker 58.1, Arnold 55.0, Rothschild 44.3.

High schools: Columbus 96.5, Early College 89.6, Northside 79.8, Rainey-McCullers 74.9, Shaw 72.7, Carver 71.8, Hardaway 69.9, Spencer 61.8, Jordan 58.4, Kendrick 56.3.

Harris County

The Harris County School District has been outperforming the state average in the major measurements, such as graduation rate, SAT, ACT, Georgia Milestones and, until this year, CCRPI.

But the new formula for the 2018 CCRPI has sunk Harris County below the state average, at 74.8., compared to Georgia’s overall score of 76.6.

“Harris County is a great school system,” HCSD assistant superintendent for curriculum David Dennie told the Ledger-Enquirer via email. “. . . However, this year’s CCRPI scores do not reflect the achievement we see with these other academic indicators.

“Based on the CCRPI’s new calculation formula for the closing gaps indicator, we anticipated a 3 to 8 point drop in scores for each school. And, as expected, several of our schools’ CCRPI scores have fallen below the state average due to the closing gaps indicator. The closing gaps indicator highlights one of our areas needing focus.”

The “closing gaps” indicator attempts to measure how well schools and districts are educating students in the subgroups of racial minorities, economically disadvantaged, disabilities and English language learners.

“As a district, we recognize that it may be a bit more difficult to meet the yearly 3% content mastery improvement goals set by the closing gaps indicator,” Dennie said. “Our teachers are aware of school ratings and take these scores seriously. We have some of the best teachers in the area and know all of our teachers are up to the challenge to improve CCRPI. We will use CCRPI scores as another metric of our system and will continue to push forward and improve every year.”

Here are the CCRPI scores for Harris County’s schools:

Elementary schools: New Mountain Hill 88.5, Pine Ridge 77.5, Creekside 70.3, Mulberry Creek 70.1, Park 65.2.

Middle schools: Harris County Carver 78.4, Creekside 71.8.

High school: Harris County High 76.2.

Dennie noted Harris County Carver’s score suffered “due to an error in the file upload last year. A group of students were excluded from the calculation, which, had they been included, would have made the score a 79.1 instead of 78.4.”

Chattahoochee County

The Chattahoochee County School District’s CCRPI climbed above the state average for the first time in 2016 but fell back below the state average in 2017. Then in 2018, under the new CCRPI, ChattCo bounced back over the state average with a 77.9, compared to Georgia’s 76.6.

“We are pleased that scores from elementary, middle and high school all increased compared to last year,” ChattCo superintendent David McCurry told the Ledger-Enquirer via email. “. . . Most impressive is the middle school that increased by 23 points, from 52.2 in 2017 to 75.3 for 2018.”

The high school score of 80.9 exceeds the state average of 75.3.

“I attribute the successes to the hard work of our students, teachers and staff,” McCurry said. “The school level leadership continuously reviews instructional practices and achievement data. They use this information to guide instruction.”

The middle school score of 75.3 is below the state average of 76.2, and the elementary school score of 74.3 is below the state average of 77.8.

“Though we are very pleased with the scores, our goal is to exceed the state average at all levels,” McCurry said. “With continued focus on achievement data and instruction, we feel confident that our scores will increase even more for 2019.

“The school system began a focused turnaround effort in 2015. Personnel, academic programs, instructional practices, achievement data and professional learning were carefully reviewed. With the support of an amazing board of education, appropriate changes were made. Three years later, our efforts are paying off.

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.