At a glance: Cartersville academics on par with state counterparts
by Mark Andrews
Oct 07, 2012 | 2198 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville City Schools released their FY 2012 academic assessment report Thursday, which shows the schools staying on par with the state in most areas, along with slight increases and drops.

The Criterion Referenced Competency Tests, which cover the areas of reading, English/Language arts, math, science and social studies, are performed on third through eighth graders. For eighth grade reading, 100 percent of students met the standard and 99 percent of eighth graders met the standard for English/Language arts.

The lowest scores come from sixth grade science, with 77 percent of students meeting the standard and seventh grade social studies with 78 percent meeting the standard.

End of Course Tests showed every score above the state average except for U.S. history, with 73 percent of students meeting the standard, compared to the state average of 76 percent. Compared to 2010 to 2011, 57 percent of Cartersville students met the standard compared to the state average of 75 percent.

ACT scores show participating Cartersville High School students surpassing the state in all areas except math, which was level to the state at 20.6 percent. However, the school fell short within one point of the nation’s scores, but had a .3 gain in reading for a score of 21.6.

SAT scores show participating students above the state and national average for Critical Reading (Verbal) and above the state standard in all other areas, falling short within 10 points of the average for math, writing and composite.

Overall, SAT scores for last year’s seniors increased 38 points from the previous year, which is the highest composite average in the last seven years.

“A modest increase or decline in any individual area is not statistically significant given the number of students being reported,” Assistant Superintendent Ken Clouse said in a press release. “We look for longer trends in this type of assessment. However, anytime you have an increase in any measurement it is a good thing.

“We are grateful to see an increase in a time when there is so much pressure on schools from all angles. It is important to view these types of tests for what they are and for what their intended value is.

“To use this data to compare schools, to compare states, or to compare performance of a group of students from one year to another is not appropriate use of this data; and that is what the designers of the test tell you.”

Copies of the analysis can be acquired from the central office.

Beginning next year, the state will be using the Common Core State Standards along with the College and Career Ready Performance Index made possible through the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver, eliminating the CRCT.

According to a press release, the CCRPI will, “measure the extent to which a school, school district, and the state are successfully making progress on a number of accountability indicators, such as content mastery, student attendance and the next level of preparation.”

Separate scores will be provided in three areas to capture the essential work of individual schools and the school-wide scores in these areas will produce a school’s overall CCRPI score. The areas are Achievement Score, based upon current year data; Progress Score, based upon current and prior year data; and Achievement Gap Closure Score, based upon gap closure at the state or school level.

“Through Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index, we will be able to use multiple indicators to determine a school’s overall impact on our students,” Superintendent John Barge said in a press release. “This approach will do more to ensure that the K-12 experience provides students with the academic preparation to compete globally, as well as the career development skills aligned with the evolving requirements of our workforce.”

The Georgia Department of Education has worked with a number of education stakeholders throughout the state for more than 18 months on the CCRPI, including district superintendents, K-12 principals, counselors, teachers, and business and industry partners. The formation of CCRPI also has been guided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Blueprint for Reform, the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Roadmap for Next-Generation Accountability System and technical advice from “a number of other education partners.”

Concerning how the CCRPI relates to current Adequate Yearly Progress status for the state, the release says “for the 2011-2012 school year, Georgia requests ‘stay put’ permission relative to the current 2011 AYP determinations, Needs Improvement interventions as outlined in the Georgia Single Statewide Accountability System and in Georgia’s Consolidated State Application Accountability workbook and consequence structure. The CCRPI calculations will be communicated to Georgia schools and school districts to establish baseline data for 2011-2012 within the context of a ‘hold harmless’ consequence structure.”