Locally, Bartow County elementary schools saw an average of 84.9, middle schools an average of 80.6 and high schools an average of 68.4. For Cartersville, the elementary level, which included scores from the primary school, saw an average of 86.1, middle an average of 85.1 and the high school an average of 79.4.
Barge addressed The Daily Tribune News during a press conference Tuesday, saying it is premature at this point to consider score discrepancies between local schools or state averages as significant or insignificant.
“... This is establishing our baseline, so I would hesitate to say [for example] three points is significant because I would want to wait and see next year how all of our schools perform compared to this year to know if three points is significant or if 10 points is significant,” Barge said. “It will really depend on how all of those schools perform year to year.”
Barge explained the results cannot be compared to AYP testing results because the CCRPI measures results from different learning areas and, for example, provides percentage-point incentives for schools with students who follow a rigorous curriculum that includes AP and honors-level courses. He said overall the CCRPI’s intent is to go beyond the realm of measuring student success because AYP rated schools on a pass/fail system.
“What we’ve wanted to do with the index, and what we hope we accomplish with this, is this accountability system now drives school improvement,” Barge said. “Schools know exactly where they need to improve on these indicators.
“Our hope is by breaking out these indicators and having schools accountable for the full scope of work they do, that we have a framework that drives school improvement ... and there’s no question where they need to go.”
He said school improvement also requires the input of parents.
“I think [parents] just need to be active in their schools and have a voice in their schools and work with their school councils, work with their PTAs, work with their principals, be involved,” Barge said. “What we’ve tried to do is make sure we have an index that is clear and easy to understand for all people involved and so the parents now also know exactly why a school is not performing well.
“In the past you may have had a school that didn’t make AYP and that just automatically labeled a school a ‘failing school,’ but if you look at the data they may have been performing extremely well on, let’s say on percentages of students who are earning credits for advanced placement by passing AP exams, and it may be the reason that they didn’t make AYP is they had one or two ... students in a particular subgroup that didn’t pass the test.”
The GaDOE says the index scores should easily communicate to the public how a school is doing since a school receives its score out of 100 points, similar to how students receive a score out of 100 in their classes. According to a GaDOE press release, “A school and district’s overall score is made up of three major areas: Achievement (70 points possible), Progress (15 points possible) and Achievement Gap (15 points possible). In addition to the three major areas, some schools receive ‘Challenge Points’ to add to their score (up to 10 points). They receive these points if they have a significant number of Economically Disadvantaged students, English Learner students and Students with Disabilities meeting expectations. They also receive points for going beyond the targets of the CCRPI by challenging students to exceed expectations and participate in college and career readiness programs.
“Beginning in 2013-2014, schools will also receive ratings based on their financial efficiency and school climate, but these ratings will be for the public’s information only and will not factor into the school’s overall CCRPI score.”
The index supports the state’s following educational principles:
• exemplary student achievement that prepares all for success in college and careers;
• effective teaching and leadership in all schools;
• innovative school improvement, particularly in low performing schools;
• reduction in the duplicative reporting requirements for local school districts.
The release further states, “The index has been designed around a comprehensive definition of college and career readiness, or the level of achievement required in order for a student to enroll in two- or four-year colleges and universities and technical colleges without remediation, fully prepared for college-level work and careers. This means that all students graduate from high school with both rigorous content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge.”
To view all local scores, visit http://ccrpi.gadoe.org/2012.