Last week, Governor Nathan Deal and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement announced this year’s award schools based on assessment and other information collected during the 2015-2016 school year. There are two categories of awards, highest performing and greatest gains.
Eastside High School was recognized with a 2016 Single Statewide Accountability System Greatest Gains Award at the highest, or platinum, level. Eastside was the only school in the Newton County School System (NCSS) to be recognized. Statewide, 139 schools across 50 school districts and only five other high schools received a similar award.
“We at Eastside High School are extremely proud to receive this honor,” Jeff Cher, principal for Eastside High, said in a news release. “It affirms the hard work and dedication on the part of our faculty and staff to strive for continual growth and achievement for all students.”
“The 2015-2016 school year was a very successful one for our high schools,” Shannon Buff, director of secondary schools, said in a news release. “Our high schools had numerous AP Scholars, our SAT and ACT scores increased across the board and our high school graduates earned millions of dollars in scholarships. And the students and staff at Eastside High School should definitely be congratulated for their accomplishments in 2015-2016. Forty-seven Eastside students qualified as AP Scholars and three of those at the National AP Scholar Award designation. Eastside’s students topped the state on the SAT math and writing exams and both Georgia and the nation on the SAT reading exam. They increased their total composite score on the SAT by 47 points in 2016.”
She added, “Just like the SAT, Eastside’s ACT scores also increased across the board and they outperformed the nation in four categories—English, reading, science and the composite. They outpaced the state in science, too. The school just had a phenomenal year and they are very deserving of the Platinum recognition.”
The Governor’s Office also released an updated list of “chronically failing” schools as well as its 2015-2016 Georgia School Reports. No NCSS school is considered chronically failing. School Reports, which include accountability information for each school in the state, can be seen at schoolgrades.georgia.gov.
The Governor’s school awards are based on schools’ College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) scores. According to the Georgia Department of Education, “The CCRPI is Georgia’s statewide accountability system, implemented in 2012 to replace the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurement, after the U.S. Department of Education granted Georgia’s waiver from NCLB on Feb. 9, 2012.”
The CCRPI measures schools and school districts on a 100-point scale. The number of points awarded to an individual school is the result of a complex and controversial calculation based on Georgia Milestones Assessment System test scores and other data items. There are different formula for elementary, middle, and high schools.
"Student achievement" determines 50 of the 100 possible points. A school’s achievement score depends on how well its students perform on the Georgia Milestones tests, on measurements of how ready its students are for success in college or a career, and its students’ high school graduation rate or a predictor of high school graduation. In 2016 Eastside High’s achievement score was 39.2.
"Progress" determines up to 40 points. Progress is a measure of how the performance of a school’s students changes over time relative to similar student test takers across Georgia. In 2016, Eastside High’s progress score was a perfect 40.
“Achievement Gap” determines 10 points. It is determined by measures of the academic progress displayed by the lowest-achieving 25% of students in the school as well as the gap in performance between that group of students and the state average. In 2016, Eastside High’s achievement gap score was 7.5.
Finally, schools can earn up to 10 “challenge points.” Another name for these would be “extra credit points” and they may be earned in two categories. First, challenge points are awarded if subgroups within the school are meeting achievement goals. The calculation looks at the performance of three subgroups: economically disadvantaged students; English learners; and students with disabilities. Second, points can be gained if the school has implemented certain “best practices” known to contribute to the college and career readiness of its students. In 2016, Eastside High was awarded 3.8 challenge points.
The CCRPI score for a school is the summation of points earned in each of the four areas. In 2016, Eastside High’s CCRPI totaled 90.5.