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Career ready? School scores down

LaGRANGE – Troup County Schools received its College and Career Ready Performance Index results on Thursday, and while Troup County Schools did continue to outpace state scores, scores went down for the county as a whole compared to last year.

State and local schools continue to score a C. This year, Troup County elementary schools scored 77.5 compared to 2015’s score of 79.8. The trend continued with county middle schools scoring 71.6 this year compared to 75 in 2015. County high schools scored 70.2 this year and 77 in 2015.

The Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index was established as a replacement for the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measurement in Georgia following a waiver granted for the program by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012. The new index, grades the state, districts and individual schools on a 100-point scale in hopes of providing better understanding for parents and the public on how schools are performing.

Schools receive 40 points for progress, 10 points for achievement gap and 50 points for achievement defined as content mastery, post high school readiness and graduation rate.

Troup County schools were not the only schools to have their score go down on this year’s index though. Across the state, elementary school index scores dropped from a state average of 76 in 2015 to 71.7 in 2016 while middle and high schools had relatively negligible changes.

“Overall, at the state level elementary schools went down,” said Allison Timberlake, director of Accountability for the Georgia Department of Education. “… It is really around challenge points… Some schools didn’t receive as many points as last year, and they didn’t increase enough to make up for the points they lost.”

Schools can receive as many as 10 challenge points that add onto total scores like bonus points. Half of these challenge points are awarded based on the performance of economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and English language learners reaching “performance flags” established by the state education agency waiver.

The other five points are awarded to schools that focus on innovative practices and career related outcomes, but only the top 5 percent of schools qualify for those points with the exception of a point for innovative practices.

This year, Troup County elementary schools received 5.1 points compared to 6.2 points in 2015 making it likely that the difference was largely responsible for the 2.3-point drop; but Troup County middle schools only lost 0.5 points; county high schools lost 0.4 points. Troup middle schools lost a few points in each category on this year’s index for this year’s score.

Troup high schools’ problem area was more concentrated however, with a drop of almost 5 points – from 37.4 to 32.6 – in the progress category. Progress points gauge the growth of students from year to year, and considering the abundance of programs designed to encourage growth within the school system, that number is especially concerning.

“There are some highlights we see within the scores, and there are also areas of improvement which we are diligently working on,” said Superintendent Cole Pugh. “We see the future of our students as being prepared for college or career of their choice, and our staff is doing a tremendous job in helping them realize their potential.”

Because scores dropped statewide, reevaluation may be necessary, but in the meantime, state education officials encourage more focus on foundational skills.

“These results point to the need for continued intensive focus on the foundation in early grades,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods in a press release. “However I don’t believe the CCRPI captures all the great work happening in our schools. Through the process of developing Georgia’s state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act, we are evaluating what changes should be made to our accountability system to better measure the overall achievements to our schools.”

For the full breakdown of the CCRPI results visit www.gadoe.org/CCRPI.

 

Georgia 2016 Troup County 2016 Troup County 2015 Challenge Points 2016 Challenge Points 2015
Elementary 71.7 77.5 79.8 5.1 6.2
Middle 71.5 71.6 75 3 3.5
High 75.7 70.2 77 1.8 1.4

Reach Alicia B. Hill at alicia.hill@lagrangenews.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.