• 73°

CCRPI scores show Troup County Schools below state average

The Georgia Department of Education released Career and College Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores for school districts in the state of Georgia, including Troup County, earlier this week. The Troup County School System received a 66.1 cumulative score, below the Georgia state average of 76.6.

According to the Georgia Department of Education website, CCRPI is a comprehensive platform focused on school improvement, accountability and communication. Schools are measured on a 100-point scale that is based on multiple factors. The CCRPI metric scores schools individually on content mastery, progress, closing gaps, readiness, climate and graduation rate.

CCRPI scores are released annually, but the formula was reconfigured for 2018 and the Georgia Department of Education said scores should not be compared to past years.

The overall state score for elementary schools was 77.8, middle schools was 76.2 and high schools was 75.3. TCSS fell below those averages at all three levels, with middle school (59.7) lagging behind both elementary (66.6) and high school (70.4).

Only two schools in the TCSS system scored above the state average in overall CCRPI score — Hollis Hand Elementary School (84.5) and Long Cane Elementary School (78.4). The lowest-scoring Troup County school was Hogansville Elementary School at 47.6. Four schools scored in the 50s — Callaway Middle School (53.6), Whitesville Road Elementary (54.4), Ethel Kight Elementary School (56.7) and Gardner Newman Middle School (59.6). Every other school in the TCSS scored in the 60s or 70s.

“Middle school is our biggest area of focus and need,” said Dr. Penny Johnson, assistant superintendent for curriculum instruction and professional learning for TCSS. “The reason is when students transition from elementary to middle school, they are actually transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn. Any deficiencies in reading levels and Lexile scores are going to be magnified not just in the reading level, but also in the content mastery area.”

Johnson said climate rating was previously a problem at the middle school level and that TCSS has implemented a new scheduling model that has improved the culture and climate of the middle schools, which was reflected in the CCRPI scores.

All three middle schools were rated at four stars (out of five) in climate rating.

“Culture has to first be positive before you can effect academic improvement, so we solved the one part of the culture, and now we have to turn to focus on the academics,” Johnson said. “We figure positive academic achievements will follow.”

Although there were significant objective opportunities for growth, TCSS also had bright spots in the report. Troup County High School received a five-star climate rating for the second year in a row. In fact, only three schools — LaGrange High (3), Hogansville Elementary (3) and Whitesville Road Elementary (2) — received lower than four stars in climate rating.

The graduation rates for the three high schools were released last month, but they also factored into the CCRPI score. LaGrange High School, Callaway High and Troup High all saw their graduation rates improve this year and the school system’s overall graduation rate was above the state average.

“We were really pleased with Berta Weathersbee (Elementary School) because they had the highest score in the system as far as making progress goes. Although Berta was low in content mastery, they are demonstrating positive gains and making progress toward improvements on GMAS.”

The report also included scores for content mastery, which addresses whether students are achieving at the level necessary to be prepared for the next grade, college or career. It measures English Language Arts, mathematics, science and social studies. TCSS students measured below the state score in every subject at all levels, except for high school social studies.

The same went for the “readiness” measure, which determines whether students are participating in activities preparing them for college or their career. Under “readiness,” literacy remained a large concern, with scores in the 40th and 50th percentile. Johnson said literacy remains a major focus of improvement for the school system.

“The key to improvement is to increase the number of students who are reading on grade level so they can access the content of the test better and perform better,” Johnson said.

Johnson said scores that take averages, such as CCRPI scores, don’t always give a full picture of some of the successes in the school system, since low performances and high performances get combined.

“The key takeaway for parents is that we have quality instructional programs at all of our schools for students of all levels, so many of our students are actually performing quite well. It’s hard to see that in the average score like a CCRPI score,” Johnson said. “The message would have to be that the best thing parents can do to support their students and their learning is to make sure they are reading with their child every day and encouraging them, especially at the upper grades, to do the very best they can each and every day.”

The entire 2018 CCRPI report can be viewed at http://ccrpi.gadoe.org.