The new Georgia Department of Education accountability rating measures schools and school districts on a 100-point scale based on a variety of factors, including mastery of the Criterion-Referenced Competency, End of Course and Georgia High School Writing tests; success of English learners and disabled students; graduation rate; and more.
The index gave average scores for Georgia’s elementary schools at 83.4, middle schools 81.4 and high schools 72.6. Paulding County’s average score was 80.7 for elementary schools; 79.2 for middle schools; and 70.3 for high schools.
Cliff Cole, superintendent of the Paulding County School District, called it a “very comprehensive measure.”
“It gives us a good measure of where we are,” he said. “It makes us look through a different set of glasses.”
The Georgia College and Career Ready Performance Index replaces the much-criticized Adequate Yearly Progress ratings mandated in federal law.
Cole said it was “much more comprehensive” than the Average Yearly Progress rating which measured progress differently.
“It may cause us to focus on college and career readiness down to the elementary level,” Cole said.
The information used to comprise the index was taken from the 2011-2012 school year. It gives scores statewide and to each school district on each of three levels – elementary, middle and high schools. It also grades each school within those school districts based on the grade level.
According to the Paulding County School District part of the report:
• Elementary school ratings ranged from 92.6 for Russom Elementary to 70.8 for Dallas Elementary.
• Middle schools ranged from 93.3 for McClure Middle to 69.9 for Scoggins Middle.
• High schools ranged from 79.3 for North Paulding High to 65.4 for Paulding County High.
Cole said it may not be fair to compare some school districts — or even some schools — against each other because they vary so widely in size, income levels and other demographic measures.
“What you have to do is a comparison of similar districts or similar schools,” he said. “There is a big difference in school systems statewide.”
The Index replaces the federally-mandated No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress measurement in Georgia, the state education department stated in a release. The U.S. Department of Education gave Georgia a waiver from No Child Left Behind in early 2012.
Most of the overall score is Achievement — with a maximum of 70 points possible — based on mastery of subjects in testing. The remainder is Progress (15 points possible) and Achievement Gap (15 points possible), according to information from the Georgia Department of Education.
Some schools also receive up to 10 “Challenge Points” to add to their score if they have a significant number of economically disadvantaged students, English learner students and students with disabilities meeting expectations.
District-wide and school-by-school College and Career Ready Performance Index scores for Paulding schools:
Paulding County School District:
70.3 (all high schools)
79.2 (all middle schools)
80.7 (all elementary schools)
Burnt Hickory 91.1
New Georgia 76.2
East Paulding 76.6
South Paulding 79.2
East Paulding 70.2
North Paulding 79.3
Paulding County 65.4
South Paulding 71.3