Georgia has requested permission to replace NCLB with Georgia's College and Career Ready Performance Index in each public school across the state for the 2011-2012 school year and on Wednesday released a press release with further information on the index.
"I want to commend Dr. Barge for looking for ways to change for the better the current requirements in No Child Left Behind," said Cartersville City Schools Superintendent Howard Hinesley. "... There are some things [in the press release] as I read them I agree with and there are others that I might agree with but I might have questions about."
Hinesley said he had concerns, upon receiving the initial CCRPI information, about how some school systems will be able to afford to meet the standards set in place. He said this includes the cost to students and school systems to take certain tests -- like advanced placement exams and the SAT -- and the ability for school systems to provide the college and career training discussed in the CCPRI.
"There have been significant reductions in the state in personnel and, for example, the emphasis on elementary career pathways they're talking about a number of kind of surveys and things as a part of that. Who's going to do that?" Hinesley said. "Our classroom teachers are working really hard to teach reading, science, math and social studies."
Calls to Bartow County Superintendent John Harper seeking comment were not returned.
Gov. Nathan Deal provided his input on the new index.
"The College and Career Ready Performance Index developed by Dr. Barge and his team at the Georgia Department of Education moves us in the right direction for 21st century accountability. Rather than focusing on one test given on one school day, the CCRPI takes a comprehensive look at the things that go into making successful elementary, middle and high schools," Deal said in the press release. "I commend Dr. Barge and Sen. Isakson for personally delivering this important request, and I'm appreciative of Secretary Duncan's willingness to entertain accountability waivers from states. I wholeheartedly support Georgia's request."
The release provided information regarding how the index will score student performance and will vary based upon grade levels. However, the index will measure the extent to which a school, school district and the state are successfully making progress on various accountability indicators such as content mastery, student attendance and the next level of preparation.
According to the release, "The implementation of the CCRPI will yield an in-depth analysis of students' college and career readiness, which is not currently provided by data collected for Adequate Yearly Progress. Separate scores will be provided in three areas to capture the essential work of individual schools: Achievement Score based upon current year data; Progress Score based upon current and prior year data; and Achievement Gap Closure Score based upon gap closure at the state or school level. The school-wide scores in these three areas will be weighted to produce the school's Overall CCRPI Score."
Barge said the state, in collaboration with teachers, principals, counselors and career and industry leaders, has been working on the index for more than a year and that formation of CCRPI has been guided by the U.S. Department of Education's Blueprint for Reform and the Council of Chief State School Officers' Roadmap for Next-Generation Accountability Systems.
He has said although he felt NCLB has had positive results, it was time for a new measurement of performance.
"We have a unique opportunity to implement a state-specific performance index that communicates a clear pathway towards school improvement and transparent accountability and charts the course for ensuring that more of Georgia's students are truly college and career ready," Barge said. "This index will give schools a score that better reflects their efforts to educate students and will be much easier to communicate to the general public."
The CCRPI will not effect current Adequate Yearly Progress status.
According to the release, "For the 2011-2012 school year, Georgia requests 'stay put' permission relative to the current 2011 AYP determinations, Needs Improvement (NI) interventions as outlined in the Georgia Single Statewide Accountability System and in Georgia's Consolidated State Application Accountability workbook, and consequence structure. The CCRPI calculations will be communicated to Georgia schools and school districts to establish baseline data for 2011-2012 within the context of a 'hold harmless' consequence structure."
To view charts dissecting CCRPI requirements, visit www.gadoe.edu.