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Superintendent projects improvement
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Newton County School Superintendent Gary Mathews said schools overseen by the Newton County School System have been improving over the past three years, based on state College and Career Ready Performance Index scores.

Mathews said at a reception on Wednesday morning that he was pleased with CCRPI scores, which are set to be released by the state May 7.

The CCRPI is Georgia’s new accountability system, designated to rate school performance in elementary, middle and high schools with an in-depth analysis of students’ college and career readiness, according to information from the State Department of Education.

The system measures how a school, school district and the state are progressing in a number of areas, such as attendance, content performance and results on state assessments.

Mathews said the system rates schools and school systems on a 100-point scale. Some NCSS schools are doing so well that there wasn’t much improvement to be made, since they were already at the top of that scale, he said.

“Look at the rate of improvement,” Mathews said. “For every school in the Newton County School System, you will find an improvement from 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 [school years].” Mathews said his comments did not include Challenge Charter Academy, which is managed by its own board of directors.

“I’m proud of the progress made in the school system. We’ve got a ways to go, but we are progressing,” Mathews said. “No single school graded is where they want to be. Look at progress over three years. It’s how much progress that has been made.”

Mathews has seen the CCRPI results, but due to an embargo and regulations, they cannot be released until late Tuesday morning.

Previously, the United States Department of Education implemented the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — widely known as the No Child Left Behind Act — to determine that each child was successful across the board by 2014.

Beginning in 2001, under the NCLB Act, Georgia schools were striving to meet Adequate Yearly Progress, which measured year-to-year performance based on students’ achievement on statewide assessments and the quality of a school.

However, in September 2011 the U.S. Department of Education offered the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, which allowed states exemption from No Child Left Behind. The Georgia DOE formally submitted an application for the waiver, which was approved in February 2012. As a result, AYP is no longer the state’s accountability measure.

According to state education department, under Georgia’s new CCRPI system, school systems will have a complete and comprehensive picture of where a school or district is meeting performance expectations and where it is not, beyond student test scores.