The calculation used to measure Georgia public schools’ student achievement has once again changed significantly, making it harder to accurately compare scores over time.
About half of the factors used to calculate each school’s College and Career Ready Performance Index in 2017 were used to calculate the 2018 CCRPI scores that were released Monday by the Georgia Department of Education.
Even so, this year’s results for Middle Georgia schools were not much different from last year, with the exception of Peach, Baldwin and Pulaski counties, which all had a score that dropped five or more points as a result of new changes to the CCRPI formula.
Four schools in the midstate area met or exceeded the state’s average score of 76.6 on the 0-100 scale.
Bleckley and Monroe schools had the highest scores in the area, totalling 84.5 and 81.4 respectively, followed by Laurens and Houston counties.
Bibb County schools scored 67.2, slightly higher than Peach County schools score.
Scores reported for Twiggs, Crawford, Baldwin, Dooly and Macon county schools were among the lowest in the area.
The CCRPI formula has changed numerous times since it was implemented in 2012.
The latest iteration of the forumla takes into account opportunities offered by schools, like advanced coursework, fine arts and physical education.
“It’s simpler and more streamlined,” Meghan Frick, spokeswoman for the state department of education, told The Telegraph. “But the measurement is still heavily weighted — about 80 percent — toward standardized test scores, and state law still requires a 100-point scale, which is an oversimplification of the complicated factors that influence school quality.”
Frick said the state school superintendent is “committed to working with the legislature to remove the 100-point scale requirement” and is also committed to creating an “accountability system that better reflects our mission or preparing students for life. Not a test.”
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Schools rated by stars
The Georgia Department of Education also annually ranks each school on a scale of one to five stars with five stars representing “an excellent school environment,” according to the department’s website.
The rating also takes into account student discipline, stakeholder surveys, as well as staff and student attendance.
Only two districts in Middle Georgia had five-star ratings for all schools: Monroe and Dodge counties. Mary Persons High School, in Monroe County, was the only high school in Middle Georgia to receive a five star rating.
Four schools in Bibb County received a five-star rating: Skyview Elementary School, Vineville Academy, Alexander II Magnet School and Springdale Elementary.
Houston County also had four schools receive five-star ratings including: C.B. Watson Primary School, Mossy Creek Middle School, Feagin Middle School and Kings Chapel Elementary School.
Schools in Jones County also were rated five stars except for Jones County High School, which had three stars, and Clifton Ridge Middle School with four stars.
A one-star rating represents school that has a climate “most in need of improvement,” according to the state’s department of education website.
There are a handful of one-star rated schools in Middle Georgia, including: Ballard-Hudson Middle School in Bibb County; Cirrus Academy, a state charter school located in Macon; Dooly County Middle School; Hancock Central Middle School; Houston Crossroads Center in Houston County and Macon County’s elementary and middle schools.