2015-16 CCRPI scores show improvements for some Decatur County schools

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The State of Georgia has released the College and Career Ready Performance Index, CCRPI, scores for the 2015-16 school year. Overall, the CCRPI score for Decatur County was identical to the 2014-15 school year at 69.3. All eight of the schools saw a change in their score including five that saw an increase from 2014-15 to 2015-16.

A direct comparison from year to year does not tell the entire story, according to Superintendent Tim Cochran, because the kids that are being measured changed as does the way the test is administered. In recent years, the test has increasingly been moved online, which Cochran said can affect some kids’ scores.

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“At the end of the day you are comparing different kids,” he said. “Even though they are all in Decatur County. Even within the county, one year’s fifth grade may not be as strong as next year’s fifth grade and you see that on test scores sometimes.”

“It is hard to measure from year to year because things haven’t stayed the same from year to year. There is a lot of research out there that say some of our lower level kids may not do as well on an online test.”

Bainbridge Middle school was the lone non-elementary to see an improvement in its score with an increase from 70.9 to 72.5. Bainbridge High School’s score dropped from 73.3 to 69.5. 

The highest performing school in the county was Jones-Wheat Elementary, which saw its score increase from a 73.4 to 87. West Bainbridge was the second highest rated school, a year after being number one, with an increase from 82.2 to 83.

Potter Street and John Johnson elementary schools also saw large improvements in their scores. Potter Street jumped from a 70.8 to an 80.1 and John Johnson went from 72.5 to 78. The only elementary school to not score at least a 78 was Elcan-King, which saw its score drop from 79.6 in 2014-15 to 67.3 in 2015-16.

“If you look at their individual metrics, they stayed pretty close,” Cochran said of Elcan-Kings’ scores. “They had a reduction in their LEXILE levels in third grade…That means the kids in 2015 and the kids from 2016, they are at a drastically different level. That affected us by ten points on that metric.”

LEXILE scores measure students’ ability to read at grade level. Improving reading levels throughout the county has become a priority in Decatur County in recent years. Although the CCRPI scores were just released, the county has had the raw data and changes were made for the 2016-17 school year based on the data from 2015-16.

“We’ve already dissected all this data,” Cochran said. “We didn’t know what the CCRPI score would be, but we’ve dissected this data and we made our school improvement plan off this data from last year.”

This included implementing knew curriculum and tweaking scheduling at Hutto Middle School where poor reading scores contributed to the school’s score dropping from a 58.9 to a 56. 

“We’ve looked at their scheduling,” Cochran said. “We call it double-dipping. If you have a kid who is low in reading, how can you double-dip them and give them their regular reading class and give them some support.”

Cochran said that the issue is if you are giving kids that read below grade level the same amount of instruction time as a kid that is one grade level, the gap will never be closed. The plan is to adjust the schedule so that kids that are behind are given additional time working on subjects such as reading. He added that they will continue to use the scores to address areas where students are struggling.

“You have to identify what your weaknesses are and where your weak children are,” Cochran said. “Then you have to figure out what support mechanisms you can put in place to make them more successful… Our goal is to be best in the area. We want our schools to be as good as anybody else around.”

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