Education

One number tells how well Georgia’s schools perform. Here are Columbus area scores.

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While the overall performance of Georgia’s public schools slipped this past year, the Muscogee County School District improved its score in the state’s accountability system.

Harris County’s score increased and Chattahooche County’s decreased, according to the 2019 College and Career Ready Performance Index the Georgia Department of Education released Friday.

The CCRPI, on a 100-point scale, is the state’s way of summarizing with one number how well schools and school districts perform, based mostly on the state’s standardized tests.

The formula’s factors include achievement, progress, closing gaps, college & career readiness and graduation rate.

Muscogee County’s CCRPI increased by 2.5 points to 74.2. That narrowed MCSD’s gap with the state average, which decreased by 0.7 points to 75.9.

Harris County’s CCRPI increased by 3.7 points to 78.5. Chattahoochee County’s CCRPI decreased by 2.2 points to 75.7.

The schools with a three-year average CCRPI in the bottom 5% of Georgia are considered Turnaround Eligible Schools. That means state officials , in collaboration with the districts that have schools on the list, can be selected for state intervention.

The 2019 Turnaround Eligible Schools list hasn’t been released.

Six MCSD schools were among the 104 in Georgia on the 2018 list: Baker Middle School, Rothschild Leadership Academy (a middle school) and Brewer, Davis, Dorothy Height and Martin Luther King Jr. elementary schools. They weren’t selected for state intervention.

Muscogee County

MCSD ranks first among the school districts serving Georgia’s second-tier cities — in 2019 CCRPI and in improvement compared to 2018:

  • Muscogee County (Columbus) increased by 2.5 to 74.2.
  • Chatham County (Savannah) decreased by 0.7 to 71.4.
  • Bibb County (Macon) increased by 1.3 to 68.5.
  • Richmond County (Augusta) decreased by 9.0 to 59.3.

Among MCSD’s 55 schools and programs in the CCRPI report, 34 increased their score, including double-digit gains at 14 of them:

  • Elementary: Davis, Dawson, Dorothy Height, Eagle Ridge, Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., River Road and Wynnton.
  • Middle: Aaron Cohn, Arnold, Blackmon Road, Rainey-McCullers and Rothschild.
  • High: Rainey-McCullers.

“Our academic progress is moving in a positive direction, which validates our strategic focus on individual school improvement plans,” Keith Seifert, MCSD’s chief academic officer, said in the district’s news release. “While we celebrate this academic progress, we know there is significant work ahead of us.”

MCSD has five schools with double-digit decreases:

  • Elementary: Double Churches, Rigdon Road, St. Marys Road and Wesley Heights.
  • Middle: Baker.

The news release listed several ways MCSD is trying to improve school performance:

  • Professional development to train teachers in grades 6-12 for what MCSD calls “personalized learning.” That’s when technology is used to give students more individualized instruction, aligned with their strengths, needs and interests. For example, this fall, MCSD started providing Chromebooks for all students in those grades — more than 15,000 — to use in class.
  • New resources for social studies instruction and curriculum in grades 6-12.
  • New online resources for math skills development in grades K-8.

Harris County

HCSD’s improvement lifted its score to 2.6 points above the state average after trailing it by 1.8 last year.

Five of the district’s seven schools improved their score. New Mountain Hill Elementary and the middle school are the exceptions.

Park Elementary made HCSD’s greatest gain, soaring 16.2 points to 81.4

“Their hard work and dedication to their students is showing through this year’s CCRPI score,” Dave Dennie, the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum, told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email.

The CCRPI formula, Dennie said, “places a large emphasis on sustainable continuous improvement through the closing gaps category. … Schools that made big gains last year must improve those big gains this year, or they will be severely impacted by this category as they scored near 0.”

This can result in schools having surprisingly large increases or decreases in their CCRPI from year to year, under the new formula that started in 2018. Dennie expects those swings to be “leveling out in three to five years.”

But HCSD isn’t waiting. The district is working to implement a guided reading program in grades K-2 along with an assessment system that determines whether students are on grade level before taking the state’s standardized tests, Dennie said.

“We are unpacking standards to ensure the content we teach in the classroom is the content that is assessed,” he said.

All HCSD schools are developing tests to provide data that will be used to improve instruction, Dennie said. The district also is planning a “comprehensive” calendar for training throughout the school year “to provide teachers the time and resources they need to be successful,” he said.

Chattahoochee County

ChattCo’s lower CCRPI means it has dipped 0.2 points below the state average after being ahead of it by 1.3 last year.

The elementary school increased its score, but the scores at the middle school and the high school decreased.

The biggest concern is the middle school’s score, which fell by 7.3 points to 68.0

“The data indicates that content mastery and student growth in the area of mathematics continues to be an area requiring improvement,” ChattCo superintendent Kristie Brooks told the L-E in an email. “This has been addressed with an aligned mathematics curriculum (in grades) 3-8 along with intense professional learning.”

Most encouraging, Brooks said, is the high school earning 100 points for growth in math and an overall 94.9 for student progress.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of our students,” she said. “We will continue to reflect on the skills and progress of each student as we are committed to providing schools that exceed state requirements and work toward recognition as leading the way for rural education across the nation.”

LOCAL CCRPI COMPARISONS

Note: Listed in order of the 2019 score, from highest to lowest.

District20182019+/-
Harris Co.74.878.5+3.7
State avg.76.675.9-0.7
Chattahoochee Co.77.975.7-2.2
Muscogee Co.71.774.2+2.5

MUSCOGEE COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

School20182019+/-
Britt David96.595.4-1.1
Mathews86.193.6+7.5
Eagle Ridge77.888.5+10.7
Clubview83.385.2+1.9
Downtown76.081.3+5.3
North Columbus75.980.9+5.0
Midland75.680.7+5.1
Johnson67.178.8+11.7
State avg.77.877.1-0.7
Lonnie Jackson69.176.9+7.8
Wynnton63.776.9+13.2
Waddell69.673.9+4.3
Muscogee Co. avg.72.873.0+0.2
Blanchard73.972.8-1.1
Gentian75.271.5-3.7
River Road60.670.9+10.3
South Columbus73.070.6-2.4
Forrest Road69.370.0+0.7
Reese Road61.367.3+6.0
Double Churches86.167.0-19.1
Key63.466.3+2.9
Allen65.466.0+0.6
Martin Luther King Jr.45.865.9+20.1
Hannan69.765.8-3.9
Dawson52.164.8+12.7
Davis51.564.3+12.8
Dorothy Height47.061.6+14.6
Fox56.761.1+4.4
Georgetown56.658.4+1.8
Dimon67.057.7-9.3
Rigdon Road70.755.1-15.6
Brewer50.754.0+3.3
Wesley Heights64.454.0-10.4
St. Marys Road73.451.9-21.5

MUSCOGEE COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOLS

School20182019+/-
Rainey-McCullers78.394.8+16.5
Aaron Cohn79.893.8+14.0
Blackmon Road79.589.7+10.2
Veterans Memorial85.780.8-4.9
Richards79.278.1-1.1
Midland73.178.0+4.9
Muscogee Co. avg.68.073.4+5.4

State avg.

76.272.1-4.1
Arnold55.066.7+11.7
Fort64.062.2-1.8
East Columbus62.960.5-2.4
Double Churches64.160.0-4.1
Rothschild44.357.1+12.8
Eddy63.757.0-6.7
Baker58.147.8-10.3

MUSCOGEE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS

School20182019+/-
Columbus96.595.0-1.5
Rainey-McCullers74.987.4+12.5
Northside79.886.1+6.3
* Early College89.684.7-4.9
Muscogee Co. avg.72.677.1+4.5
State avg.75.377.0+1.7
Carver71.872.4+0.6
Hardaway69.969.7-0.2
Shaw72.769.3-3.4
Jordan58.464.3+5.9
Spencer61.862.6+0.8
Kendrick56.360.8+4.5

* Early College Academy closed after the 2018-19 school year and merged into Jordan Vocational High School.

HARRIS COUNTY

School20182019+/-
Park65.281.4+16.2
HCHS76.280.9+4.7
Creekside 71.079.9+8.9
Pine Ridge77.577.8+0.3
Mulberry Creek70.175.8+5.7
HCCMS78.475.7-2.7
New Mountain Hill88.570.4-18.1

CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY

School20182019+/-
High80.979.1-1.8
Elementary74.375.0+0.7
Middle75.368.0-7.3
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Ledger-Enquirer staff writer Mark Rice covers education and other issues related to youth. He also writes feature stories about any compelling topic. He has been reporting in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley for more than a quarter-century. He welcomes your local news tips and questions.
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