The state’s College and Career Ready Performance Index ranks each public school and school district across the state using a number of different factors, including student test scores, academic progress and efforts to close the achievement gap between high-income and low-income students. CCRPI, as it’s more commonly known, was created in 2012 by the Georgia Department of Education with the intention of being a more comprehensive school ranking system.
Schools and districts are graded on a scale of zero to 100. Bonus points of up to 10 are also available.
Cobb schools received a score of 80.7, which is slightly less than the 81.6 score the district was given last year. Some high-ranking schools inched up higher while some bottom schools saw their rankings continue to fall.
Randy Scamihorn, school board vice chairman, said he had not yet reviewed the new rankings in detail Monday afternoon, but said any drop in scores is a concern.
“We’re always striving to improve,” Scamihorn said. “It’s extremely important that we educate our kids or students to the best of our abilities.”
Scamihorn added that, even in areas where scores are improving, “we need to continue striving.”
Gwinnett County, the only public school system in Georgia larger than Cobb, scored an 83.1, improving over last year’s 82.8 ranking.
Districts were also given rankings on overall elementary, middle and high school scores. Cobb received 77.4 for high school, 80.6 for elementary and 82.9 for middle school.
Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci says the school board will get an analysis from district staff at its next meeting.
“I’m a little disappointed in our high school score, which is 77.4,” Angelucci said adding she thought the middle school scores were more encouraging.
She’s also skeptical about the accuracy of the CCRPI system.
“I know that this is somehow supposed to be an indicator for college and career readiness, but to be honest with you, I don’t think that it is,” Angelucci said.
It may be too early to determine if elementary school students will be ready for college or careers when they graduate high school, she said.
“How many 18 or 19 year olds do you know that don’t know what they want to do?” Angelucci said.
Walton stays on top
Walton High School remains Cobb’s top performing high school, scoring 92.8, although that’s down from the last year’s 93.1. By contrast, Osborne High School is ranked as the district’s worst school and dropped by almost 15 points, receiving a score of 59.2. Osborne received 73.6 points last year.
Judy McNeill, principal of Walton, said she is pleased the school received high marks and attributed the school’s dip to normal fluctuations.
“You have fluctuations in SAT scores and ACT scores,” McNeill said.
Garrett Middle School was Cobb’s lowest-ranking middle school, receiving a score of 57.4, which dropped 10 points from last year’s 67.6 score. Hightower Middle School received the top ranking at 96.6.
Dodgen Middle School wasn’t far behind at 95.8.
Phil Wilkes, principal at Dodgen, attributes his school’s high score to data-driven instruction and planning by teachers.
“When your scores are high, sometimes it’s hard to move up, but it shows me that our focus has been where it needs to be,” Wilkes said.
Teachers are spending more time reviewing data to determine where instruction could improve, he said, and more high school-level courses are being offered to Dodgen’s middle school students.
Rocky Mount Elementary School received the county’s top spot for elementary schools with a score of 96.6, which is higher than last year’s score of 92.9. Green Acres Elementary scored the lowest at 60.6, down from 66.9 last year.
Administrators at Osborne High Schools, Garrett Middle School and Green Acres Elementary School did not return a message left by the MDJ on Monday. Karen Courant, assistant principal of Green Acres Elementary School, said she had not yet reviewed the scores and declined comment.
Marietta schools close to Cobb score
Marietta City Schools improved its 2012 score from 77.4 to 80.2. That score is also just under the ranking given to Cobb’s schools at 80.7.
On average, elementary grades earned 82.5 points and middle 84.3 received points.
Marietta High School’s ranking increased slightly from 71.3 to 72.7. The lowest ranking school in the district is Hickory Hills Elementary School at 68.3 while Westside Elementary School received the top elementary ranking of 93.8. Overall, the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, a magnet school that offers special science, technology, engineering and math courses, scored the highest at 100.3.
“The CCRPI provides our schools with achievement information on a variety of indicators,” said Superintendent Emily Lembeck in a prepared statement. “Our teachers are working hard to meet the needs of all students as expectations increase and more rigorous standards are taught. We are pleased with this progress and look forward to addressing areas in need of further improvement.”
Lembeck also pointed to the district’s improving graduation rate, which is used to calculate the CCRPI scores.
“Although there is more work to be done, I’m especially mindful of the positive changes in our graduation rate. Graduating students is our ultimate responsibility and we need to continue working collectively to graduate Marietta.”