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Performance scores to be released for area schools

New formula may unveil decrease for some

POSTED: April 21, 2014 12:22 a.m.

Individual school scores could possibly go down this year, but that’s ultimately a good thing according to state officials.

“These new rules are a much higher bar for schools,” Georgia Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza wrote in an email.

In its second year of implementation, the College and Career Ready Performance Index is used to basically grade schools, rating them on a 100-point scale mostly using standardized test results.

It’s broken into achievement, progress and achievement gap sections. Last year’s scores primarily focused on achievement, with it making up 70 percent of the score. Progress and achievement gap both counted for 15 percent.

But this year the achievement portion makes up 60 percent, while progress has more emphasis with 25 percent of the score. The idea is to place more emphasis on student growth rather than final test scores.

The achievement gap, with points assigned for closing the gap between the bottom 25 percent of scores and the state average, remains 15 percent.

Georgia School Superintendent John Barge is expected to announce the 2013 scores today during a 10 a.m. press conference in Atlanta.

“We’re learning how all of the variables work together (and) how to improve in what areas to maximize the accountability report,” Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said. “However, we want to be sure we keep our eye on good teaching and learning and instruction.”

While school leaders have approved of the new calculating formula, the new grading formula will result in a drop for some schools. The difference is noticeable enough for the state to rerelease 2012 scores calculated under the new formula.

“It’s going to be a whole new way of looking at these numbers,” said Jamey Moore, Gainesville’s director of curriculum and instruction, earlier in the year. “Anything they put out last year wouldn’t in any way tell us anything about what’s coming out this year.”

Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield called the index a “work in progress,” but hopes the state will limit future changes until school employees, parents and community members understand how the new scoring system works.

According to Schofield, when comparing 2013 numbers to the recalculated 2012 scores, 75 percent of Hall schools show improvement, consistent with the growth shown on standardized test reports.

“Of our schools, some went up, some went down,” Dyer said about Gainesville. “Not drastically.”

The original 2012 College and Career Ready Performance Index results are set to be removed from the state department’s website, replaced by the recalculated scores.


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