The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) released CCRPI (College and Career Ready Performance Index) scores for public schools across the state Monday, and the mountain of data revealed that Baldwin County Schools is below the state’s average at every level.
As a whole, the state scored 77.8 at the elementary level, 76.2 at the middle school level, 75.3 at the high school level, and 76.6 for all schools combined. In Baldwin County, the elementary score for the district was 58.7, 61.4 in middle school, 59.8 at the high school, and 59.6 for the district as a whole.
The ever-evolving measure for school success has undergone significant changes many times throughout its use and did so once again on a major scale with the latest figures that reflect schools’ performance from the 2017-18 term.
Baldwin County School Superintendent Dr. Noris Price has called the CCRPI a “moving target” in the past due to its constantly changing nature and said in a Thursday press release that the latest iteration is mostly a reflection of how students perform on the state’s mandated assessments and not much else.
“The new scoring system of CCRPI given to us from GaDOE is very complex and is still mainly a measure of student performance on the Georgia Milestones, the tests given at the end of courses in high schools and the end of the year in elementary and middle schools. The 2018 CCRPI scores for our school district do not accurately reflect the incredible work that has been done in our schools over the past several years,” said Price. “Each year our schools have demonstrated substantial gains at all levels and even achieved a record high graduation rate.”
GaDOE said in its Monday press release that the CCRPI has been “streamlined and simplified” with the number of indicators having been “cut in roughly half” from past editions. Together the indicators make up the five different components of the CCRPI: content mastery, progress, closing gaps, readiness, and (for the high school only) graduation rate. While there may be fewer indicators in each component, those indicators that remain in the first three listed are heavily derived using data from the Georgia Milestones assessments.
The scores for Baldwin High School and Oak Hill Middle School are easy to spot since they are the only public schools of their kind in the county. Baldwin High’s score came in at 59.8 while Oak Hill posted a 61.4. The elementary schools’ scores were as follows: Lakeview Academy at 66.5, Lakeview Primary at 48.6, Midway Hills Academy at 51.6, and Midway Hills Primary at 50.2. Both the state and Baldwin County Schools and the state stressed that due to the change in calculation this year’s scores cannot be compared to last year’s. GaDOE went so far as to put a note at the top of its press release in red text, partially stating, “Any comparison, or statement that a school or district’s scores have ‘risen’ or ‘dropped,’ is incorrect.” Last year’s numbers may be viewed by visiting ccrpi.gadoe.org/2017. This year’s full report may be found at ccrpi.gadoe.org/2018.
Furthermore, this is the first year that scores have been attributed to Baldwin County’s elementary schools under the new K-2 and 3-5 configuration. The two primary schools that came in at the lowest scores were graded using just a single data point, according to the Baldwin County School District. The Milestones results of third-graders at the respective paired schools in English language arts and mathematics determined the scores for their primary school counterparts.
This year’s CCRPI is different due to a federal law passed back in 2015 known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” which replaced “No Child Left Behind.” Under the law states must have an accountability system in place that measures school success. ESSA gives states more authority over the accountability process, according to GaDOE. State law calls for a 100-point scale to be utilized, though that’s something State School Superintendent Richard Woods would like to see changed in addition to lessening the impact that assessments have on the overall score.
“We came together with Georgians to make improvements to the CCRPI, and I’m proud of that work,” Superintendent Woods said in the Monday GaDOE press release. “We were able to preserve indicators that reflect the opportunities schools offer to their students, from advanced coursework to career education to fine arts and physical education. But we can’t stop there. I believe strongly that the current 100-point scale vastly oversimplifies the complicated factors that influence school quality. The public — students, parents, and communities — deserve a wider and deeper measurement of performance that reflects our true mission: preparing students for life, not a test.”
Meanwhile, locally, Price said different assessments have been put in place to track how students are performing, and hopefully improving, as the school year wears on.
“The 2018 CCRPI results serve as a baseline and will assist us in prioritizing our strategic initiatives. We will continue to focus on ensuring all students achieve at high levels. That is why this school year, we have implemented the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments to measure student growth three times a year in English Language Arts and Mathematics. We believe that these additional assessments will provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of student learning and progress.”