Scores on Georgia’s redesigned education report card released Monday show high schools faring the worst under the new model.
State education officials say the revised College and Career Ready Performance Index is so different from prior years that the scores cannot be compared. However, the statewide average scores for elementary and middle schools rose while the score for high schools declined, suggesting that either high school students did worse when they took their state standardized tests last spring or that the new measure is tougher on high schools than on the lower grades.
Overall, the statewide score on the 100-point index rose just over a point. The average scores were: 77.8 for elementary schools, 76.2 for middle schools and 75.3 for high schools. The overall average: 76.6.
Though the scores are not backwards compatible, they can be used to compare schools and school districts.
Among the five major metro Atlanta school districts, Gwinnett County Public Schools had the best elementary school score at 84.6 points, followed by Fulton County, Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County and DeKalb County, in that order. Gwinnett middle schools also led with 84.5 points, with the other districts in the same descending order except for Cobb and Atlanta, which swapped places. Cobb did best among high schools, with 85.4 points, trailed by Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Atlanta.
Both Atlanta and DeKalb failed to beat the state average for those three grade clusters. Cobb failed to beat it for elementary schools.
The scoring system is built on a variety of measures, leaving school districts the opportunity to tout the best-looking details. Cobb, for instance, pointed to its total average score for all schools of 79.6. “Schools in the Cobb County School District outpaced their peers across the state, yet again,” the district proclaimed, though it had no elementary school among the top 10 for metro Atlanta.