Paulding County School District significantly increased its overall score this year and topped the state average on a measurement of how well Georgia's public schools are preparing students for college or careers.

The Paulding district recorded a score of 79.9 on its overall 2019 score on the College and Career Ready Performance Index, which was up from 75.4 in 2018, according to scores released by the Georgia Department of Education today, Oct. 25.

The county district's 2019 overall score also exceeded the statewide average of 75.9. Paulding schools’ 2018 overall score was slightly below the state average.

This year’s numbers also showed Paulding schools were bucking the statewide trend of falling scores.

The 2019 scores reflected a 4.5-point increase for the Paulding school district but a 0.7-point decrease for all Georgia schools compared to 2018.

Average scores in 2019 also showed Paulding exceeding the statewide average at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The county’s middle school average was more than seven points above the state average.

The 2019 averages showed Paulding increased its average score at the elementary and high school levels but decreased at the middle school level compared to 2018.

Superintendent Brian Otott said he was “ecstatic about the academic trends we are seeing in the Paulding County School District, and these CCRPI results confirm the progress we are making.”

“I believe the initiatives we have in place are making a positive difference, and the evidence is clear in the upward trend line of our academic results," he said in a news release. "On statewide measurements such as graduation rate and the Georgia Milestones, we aim to outperform the state average and increase that separation each year.

"These CCRPI results confirm that we are succeeding, which is a testament to the outstanding work and dedication of our classroom teachers, and to the students themselves,” Otott said.

All public schools in Georgia are assessed using the Index, which is a comprehensive measurement of school improvement, accountability and communication designed to show how Georgia's public schools are preparing students for college or careers.

It includes the following main components: Content Mastery, Progress, Closing Gaps, Readiness, and an additional component for high schools, Graduation Rate. These components, encompassing multiple indicators, are combined for a total Index score on a scale of 0 to 100. The Index also reports other information, such as school climate and financial efficiency status.

Each category of the Index counts for a certain percentage of the overall score:

• Elementary and Middle schools: Content Mastery 30 percent; Progress 35 percent; Closing Gaps 15 percent; Readiness 20 percent.

• High school: Content Mastery 30 percent; Progress 30 percent; Closing Gaps 10 percent; Readiness 15 percent; Graduation Rate 15 percent.

The state has used the Index as an accountability measure of continuous improvement since 2012.

However, it was redesigned for the 2017-2018 school year and 2019 results can only be compared to 2018.

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