The Cherokee County School District’s performance has improved, and, for the seventh consecutive year, has exceeded the State’s average College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) accountability system score.
The scores, released today by the Georgia Department of Education, annually calculate student academic achievement and progress. The School District’s 2018-19 CCRPI average is 83, an increase from 79 the previous year, and exceeding the State average of 76. Scores at all three levels of CCSD schools also improved from the previous year and surpassed State performance: 86 elementary (77 Georgia); 80 middle (72); 82 high (77).
The CCRPI averages are calculated using results received by CCSD throughout the year, such as State-mandated Georgia Milestones test scores and graduation rates; these results are reviewed by CCSD and its school leaders and data teams throughout the year upon receipt to allow for immediate adjustment and improvement.
“We’re proud of the hard work by all of our students and teachers every day in the classroom,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “Our students are not data points, but limited standardized testing results do help us evaluate our instructional best practices to continuously improve. Our recent adoptions of new initiatives and resources have asked our teachers to do more, and they continue to rise to the challenge for our children’s benefit.”
Dr. Hightower said CCSD and school instructional leaders will take a deep dive into this data to determine how struggling students can be better supported. He noted that the CCRPI formula results in lower scores for schools with higher populations of students facing obstacles to educational success such as financial challenges, learning English as a special language, and learning differences.
The CCRPI accountability system is required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind. While the State’s system uses a 100-point scale, the scores cannot accurately be equated to school letter grades.
While CCSD overall saw improvement in CCRPI results, State averages decreased, leading Gov. Brian Kemp to join State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods in calling for a review and refinement of the system. The decline, Gov. Kemp said, is troubling given Georgia’s increases in national test scores, graduation rates and Milestones scores.
“I believe that we need to engage in a thoughtful process to create an accountability system that paints a true picture of what’s happening in a school,” Governor Kemp said. “I’m confident that we’re finally in the right position to make long-needed refinements to this measurement.”