Sup’t. on tests: ‘Room for improvement’

Superintendent Joseph Barrow. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Fayette schools in state’s top 20 in new round of tests; McIntosh tops county in high school scores

Scores for the 2012-2013 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) are in, and they show Fayette ranked in 15th, 11th and 14th place, respectively, for elementary, middle and high schools.

While Fayette scored higher than all other metro Atlanta school districts except for Forsyth County, Superintendent Jody Barrow said there is still room for improvement on the statewide rankings.

Fayette’s five high schools all scored above the state average, with McIntosh leading the county at 91.9 out of a 100, and Sandy Creek bringing up the rear at 75.2.

School system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said the CCRPI is the new statewide accountability system using an easy-to-understand 100-point scale that was first released in May 2013 using 2011-2012 school year data as a “study year.”

During the study year, the Ga. Dept. of Education (DOE) received feedback from education partners and the public, resulting in changes that have made the CCRPI a more meaningful report, officials said. The new calculating methodology has been applied to the 2012-2013 data from last year’s report so that an “apples to apples” comparison can be made between the two CCRPI reports, Berry-Dreisbach said.

School System Assessment Coordinator Chris Floyd in a presentation at the April 28 school board meeting said Fayette’s combined elementary school score was 86.9, or 15th out of 191 districts. Middle schools scored 88.4 points, or 11th out of 193 districts and the county’s high schools scored 82 points, or 14th out of 186 districts.

A school district does not receive an overall score, Floyd said, explaining that the scoring is accomplished accounting for scores in the elementary, middle and high school categories. DOE on its website does provide a breakdown of the individual schools in each district.

Floyd said what might seem to be a discrepancy in the number of school districts is not. The number of school districts statewide varies in terms of elementary, middle and high schools since the totals include various charter schools along with the 180 school districts across Georgia.

While the scores for Fayette’s elementary, middle and high schools were not as good as they might have been, ”I think it’s something we need to look at, and the teachers have. We’re looking at where the kids are strong and where they’re weak,” Floyd said.

Citing an example, Floyd said one of Fayette’s high schools scored 16th of all the state’s high schools, adding that eight of the higher-scoring high schools were magnet schools.

Floyd said that from a combined perspective, Fayette performed better than all the other school districts in metro Atlanta with the exception of Forsyth County schools.

“We’re in the top 10-15 percent (in the state) in every area,” Floyd said.

Superintendent Barrow in commenting on the scores said there is still room for improvement in the CCRPI tool currently in use for the past two years.

“I think our challenge is to look at the individual schools and individual student achievement,” Barrow said. “We’re really competing against ourselves and not against other schools.”

A look at the 2012-2013 scores for Fayette high schools showed that of a possible 100 points McIntosh scored an overall 91.9, Starr’s Mill scores an overall 90.1, Whitewater scored 84.8, Fayette County scored 78.3 and Sandy Creek scored 75.2. The state overall average high school score was 71.8.

The CCRPI includes three categories which include points for Achievement, Progress and Achievement Gap.

Providing a further breakdown of the 2012-2013 scores, Berry-Dreisbach said Fayette’s elementary and middle school scores were the second highest among the metro-Atlanta counties while the high school score was the third highest of the metro-Atlanta counties.

“In comparison to last year’s scores, which have been reconfigured using the new calculations, both the elementary and middle school levels raised their overall scores. Scores are based on a 100-point scale. The elementary score increased from 86 in 2012 to 86.9 in 2013. The middle school score jumped from 87 in 2012 to 88.4 in 2013. The high school level had a small decrease from 83.6 in 2012 to 82 in 2013. Fayette’s overall scores are well above those of the state that are 77.8 for elementary, 74.6 for middle and 71.8 for high,” Berry-Dreisbach said.

Berry-Dreisbach said the county’s elementary, middle and high schools all raised their “Achievement” score, which counts for 60 percent of the possible 100 points. Elementary schools increased from 55.3 in 2012 to 55.4 in 2013, middle schools increased from 56.4 in 2012 to 56.7 in 2013 and high schools increased from 51 in 2012 to 51.3 in 2013.

“Also, all three school levels have ‘Progress’ scores above what is expected from the state, which is 66 percent of a possible 25 points, putting the expected progress score for school systems at 16.5 points. Fayette’s scores are 18 for elementary, 17.5 for middle and 18.1 for high,” said Berry-Dreisbach. “The high school level saw a decrease in the ‘Achievement Gap’ score when compared to last year, down from 11.3 in 2012 to 10 in 2013. Scores remained steady for both elementary and middle.”

Reports can be accessed on the DOE website at www.gadoe.org. From the webpage, either click on the College and Career Ready Performance Index logo, or go to “Home” and then CCRPI.

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State School Superintendent primary

In the Republican primary coming up, who should or should not get my vote for State School Superintendent?

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Oak Tree - state school supt

There are 15 potential candidate and all seem to have different ideas regarding education and the common core issue. Today's AJC lists them all. I'm afraid FC's lone candidate is a non entity in this race, and the AJC didn't waste time or ink to even interview her.

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