The index is the new accountability system that replaces the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measurement in Georgia.
The index measures schools and school districts on a 100 point scale.
In Fulton County, 60 of the 104 schools measured scored 80 or above on the new index, with 43 schools of those schools earning scores in the 90s or higher.
Three elementary schools – Crabapple Crossing, Findley Oaks and Hembree Springs – earned near-perfect scores of 99.2, 99.2 and 100.3 respectively.
“I’m pleased that we have a new system in place that will help us measure student progress in a more easy-to-understand, meaningful way. Because index covers multiple metrics, this isn’t just a pass/fail system [as with AYP],” Superintendent Robert Avossa said in a statement. “[The index] shows student progress over time and gives us a better understanding of how our schools are really doing. It’s also aligned with our strategic goals of improving graduation rates and preparing students for college or the workforce.”
The index will help parents and the public better understand how schools are performing in a more comprehensive manner than the pass/fail system previously in place under AYP, school spokeswoman Susan Hale said in a statement.
“The index includes scores that easily communicate to the public how a school is doing,” she said. “Each school receives a score out of 100 points, just like what students receive in their classes.”
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 Language Learner students and Students with Disabilities meeting expectations.
They also receive points for going beyond the targets of the index 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 index score.
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,” Hale said.
As part of the waiver, the Georgia Department of Education began identifying Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Reward Schools.
Achievement data from all core content areas and graduation rate data were used to identify these schools.
These Priority Schools and Focus Schools replaced Needs Improvement schools. Reward Schools – highest performing and high progress – replaced the Distinguished Schools designation.
Georgia also identified Alert Schools in three categories: Subgroup Alert Schools, Subject Alert Schools, and Graduation Alert Schools. These Alert Schools were identified based on a more detailed evaluation of subgroup performance.