What is replacing the No Child Left Behind law in Georgia?

Posted by Ronald | May 18, 2013  |  No Comment

Approximately 38,000 of the nation’s 100,000 public schools did not meet their No Child Left Behind (NCLB) testing targets in 2010 and about half as many schools did not meet their targets in 2011. As a result, the U.S. Department of Education in the fall of 2011 challenged state education agencies to request flexibility from the federal No Child Left Behind law. Georgia was one of eleven state agencies that filed and received approval from the NCLB through an application process.

In the application, state agencies were to provide an intervention utilizing multiple measures to assess the effectiveness of schools rather adopt a one-size-fits all remedy of the NCLB/Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurement. So, the critical questions to be asked are: What is replacing the No Child Left Behind law in Georgia? How does the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) work? What does College and Career readiness mean? What are the results of Georgia schools from the CCRPI?

Georgia’s State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge released the new accountability system called the Georgia College and Career Ready Performance Index in May. CCRPI measures schools and school districts on an easy-to-understand scale. The index is designed to help parents and the community better understand how schools are performing in a more comprehensive manner than the pass or fail system under the AYP. Specifically, each school receives a score or grade ranging from 0 to 100, similar to a student classroom grade.

A school is scored using the ratings: achievement, progress and achievement gap with possible points of 70, 15 and 15 respectively. A school can be eligible for a possible 10 “challenge points” if it has a significant number of economically disadvantaged students, English Learner students and Students with Disabilities meeting expectations. Also, a school can receive points for going beyond the targets of the CCRPI by challenging students to exceed expectations and participate in college and career readiness programs. College and Career Readiness means that all students graduate from high school with both rigorous content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge for college-level work and careers.

Based on data from the 2011-2012 school year, the average score for Georgia’s elementary schools is 83.4, middle schools is 81.4 and high schools is 72.6. Factors for scoring high school is different for elementary and middle schools. The graduation rate is a part of the scoring, and it is calculated based on students completing high school (ninth through twelfth grade) within four years. Unlike the NCLB, the index gives the state more autonomy in measuring the effectiveness of its schools, eliminates the annual measurable objectives, provides credits or points for each indicator (such as achievement progress) and replaces the needs improvement schools with priority and focus schools.

According to Superintendent Barge, “I am very pleased that we now have a school improvement measure as in-depth as the College and Career Ready Performance Index. We are no longer bound by the narrow definitions of success found in the Adequate Yearly Progress measurement. Holding schools accountable and rewarding them for the work they do in all subjects and with all students is critical in preparing our students to be college and career ready. The index effectively measures how schools prepare our students for success.” For additional information about the College and Career Ready Performance Index, go the website of the Georgia Department of Education.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of three books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education” and “How to Eradicate Hazing.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is the national superintendent of education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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