The following are College and Career Ready Performance Index scores and accompanying letter grades on an A-F scale assigned by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for 2014-15, the first year students took the Georgia Milestones Assessment System tests.
School/district Grade CCRPI
Georgia C 75.5
Bryan County C 78.8
Lanier Primary N/A
RH Primary N/A
RH Elementary N/A
Bryan County C 75.3
Carver B 84.3
Bryan County F 59.2
Richmond Hill C 79.4
Bryan County D 63.8
Richmond Hill B 83.2
Source: Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
Bryan County Schools on the whole performed above state averages in most subjects during the 2014-15 school year, according to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.
Notable exceptions, however, were Bryan County Middle and Bryan County High schools, with College and Career Ready Performance Index scores of 59.2 — an F — and 63.8 — a D — respectively.
The state has not calculated the results for the just-completed school year.
This is the first time the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement has used the CCRPI scores to assign letter grades to public schools. GOSA says the system is designed to cut through the complex CCPRI reports, which can overwhelm the public with data. The grades, and accompanying data, are available online at schoolgrades.georgia.gov.
The district as a whole received a C with a CCRPI score of 78.8. The statewide average was 75.5.
“As a school system, we have several reservations concerning adding a letter grade to a complex and constantly changing accountability measure,” Superintendent Paul Brooksher said. “The letter grade alone does not allow a parent or a
community member to ascertain any relevant information about the school this early in the process.”
The 2014-15 school year was the first in which students took the new state tests, the Georgia Milestone Assessment System, which replaced the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.
“We must empower Georgia citizens with tools like the Georgia School Grades website if we want to continue to improve student achievement for future generations,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in announcing the website and reports.
“The indicators embedded in the index have changed every year since its inception,” Brooksher said. “The constant changes in what and how indicators are being measured seriously handicaps schools and districts throughout Georgia.”
The report says BCMS is performing better than only 15 percent of schools in the state and just a little over half — 51.6 percent — of its eighth-graders were reading at grade level in 2014-15.
For BCHS, students’ academic growth lagged 88 percent of high schools in the state, but its four-year graduation rate of 84 percent is higher than half the schools in the state. The report said 58 percent of BCHS graduates are considered “college ready.” The state bases college readiness on several factors, including lack of need for remedial classes in college, ACT and SAT scores and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam performance.
“We recognize the areas that need addressing since the CCRPI report was published, some eight months after the data had been reported,” Brooksher said. “At Bryan County Middle School and Bryan County High School, where our students exhibit the greatest risk factors (high rates of poverty and students in special education programs), our scores are lower. Yet when one compares their scores to comparable schools (those with similar risk factors), their scores are very similar.”
Schools in North Bryan range from 63 percent to 73 percent in the number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, compared to 26 percent to 31 percent in South Bryan. Also, the percentage of students in North Bryan who are considered to have a learning disability is higher than in South Bryan.
Of 2,130 schools statewide that received report cards, 868 — almost 41 percent — received a grade of D or F.
Brad Anderson, Bryan County’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said the district takes the performance of all its schools seriously.
“Bryan County Middle and Bryan County High school staffs are in the process of retooling as they prepare to meet the challenges that lie ahead as our entire system remains continuously focused on improvement for the 2017 CCRPI reporting period,” he said.
The highest grade in the district went to George Washington Carver Elementary School with an 84.3, or a B. The report said its students’ overall performance is higher than 84 percent of schools in the state and their academic growth is higher than 61 percent.
Richmond Hill High School also received a B with a CCRPI of 83.2. Its overall performance is higher than 81 percent of schools in the state, and students’ academic growth is higher than 54 percent. RHHS has a four-year graduation of 91 percent, higher than 79 percent of schools, and 78.5 percent of graduates are considered college ready.
Richmond Hill Middle School scored 79.4, a C, and 79 percent of its eighth-graders are reading at grade level. Bryan County Elementary School also received a C with a CCRPI of 75.3. Student academic growth is higher than 73 percent of schools, but just 39 percent of its third-graders are reading at grade level.
CCRPI grades were not given for Richmond Hill Primary, Lanier Primary or Richmond Hill Elementary because of their grade levels, although 64 percent of third-graders at RHES were reading at grade level. McAllister Elementary was not open during the 2014-15 school year.
Brooksher said he is “discouraged” by the state applying letter grades to schools using old data and a method that keeps changing.
“Imagine being the head football coach and they change the rules on how you win a game every season,” he said. “Then, consider you won’t know if the number of points you scored in the game will help you or hurt you because you scored them almost a year ago.”
He added that judging schools by a letter grade compared to an overall educational experience is “disheartening” and does not acknowledge the schools’ positive work.
“Even though I am extremely frustrated by the volume of changes we face annually with a misguided accountability system in Georgia, Bryan County Schools will remain focused on improvement,” he said. “We have an extremely talented faculty and staff, wonderful students, outstanding parents and a quality school board. As a district, we remain focused on providing the best educational experience to our students.”