With Dougherty County releasing their testing scores for 2011-2012, many parents are concerned that the low numbers mean poor teaching inside the system. However that may not be entirely true.
"People should not be concerned because we're transitioning from adequate yearly progress (CRCT) to the new CCRPI (College/Career Readiness Program Index). Even though there's a score of 100 max, because this is the first year, I don't expect us to be close to that 100 mark, and most school systems will probably be on the lower end of the scale," said Dougherty County School System Test Coordinator, Renee Bridges.
Dougherty County has received a scored of 68.2 for elementary schools, 72 for middle schools, and 57.4 for high schools.
The new system breaks down the curriculum into four categories: achievement points, progress points, achievement gap points, and challenge points. These different spots allow for more accurate testing scores, and also insure that every factor is being taken into account.
"There's the achievement points which will calculate up to 70 points, you have progress points which will calculate to 15 points, and the achievement gap points which calculates to 15 points giving you an overall score of 100," said Bridges.
When talking about, achievement points, it's broken down into 3 categories:
-Content Mastery (40%): how well does a student understand the material.
-Post High School/Middle School/Elementary School readiness (30%): how ready is the student for the next level of schooling.
-Graduation Rate/Graduation Predictor (30%): how many students are graduating inside the system, and what is the potential for students graduating inside the system.
The next category is, "progress points," which deals with the student growth model, allowing school system's to gain points for students that have a typical or high growth index.
Lastly, the new system has implemented, achievement gap points, which shows the difference between different ethnicities, students with disabilities, those that are economically disadvantaged and English learner students.
The system can also earn 10 bonus points if any of the students of the "achievement gap" group are able to meet the performance target or the state's performance target. That category is listed as challenge points on the CCRPI grading scale.
With all this change, that also means a shift in curriculum, which means teacher's will have to get acquainted with the new specifications.
"Staff development is being provided throughout the school year as well as intense training during the summer months. The first year of a new curriculum you have to look back at what changes need to take place, what can we do better, what can we do differently," said Bridges.
Bridges says that people should expect to see lower scores across the state, not just in Dougherty County, but added that this is definitely a positive.
"I think it's a positive because now they're looking at the total school, and not just test scores and the graduation rate," said Bridges.
The Interim Superintendent released this statement after the release of the data Tuesday morning:
"The Dougherty County School System will use the data reported today to help students achieve at higher levels. "I have said since coming on board that higher student performance comes with having the right teachers in the classrooms and having the right leadership for the schools. We are working hard to ensure that those key people are in place in our system. We are also taking advantage of opportunities to drive school improvement with the support of Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants. It will take a little time, but new district leadership and initiatives, already approved by our Board of Education, will help us turn around low achieving schools."
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