He also found a strong correlation between low CCRPI scores and poverty. And schools with more black than white students tended to earn low scores.
The measures are important because they are used to identify the “chronically failing” schools that could be singled out for the governor’s special attention.
Todd said her agency decided a score below 60 should merit a failing grade because that and the other cut scores in her letter grade scale “mirror the scale that parents and stakeholders are most familiar with in terms of grading.” She added that Georgia’s tougher scale is “perhaps more appropriately viewed as setting high expectations” for the education system.
On Thursday, Todd’s agency released a new list of schools that have earned an “F” for three years running -- that’s the definition of chronically failing -- and it grew, from 127 to 153.
Lawmakers from both the state House and Senate said fixing failing schools is a priority for them.
State Superintendent Richard Woods, whose agency produces the CCRPI, has read the UGA study and he agreed with the findings, saying the state needs to do a better job of crediting schools that are able to show student improvement, even if their test scores are relatively low. He can change some things on his own, but crucial elements of the CCRPI are written into law, so any change will require lawmakers’ involvement. And, of course, he has no control over the A-F letter grades assigned by GOSA.
“I think we have to look at something that is fair” to schools, Woods said. “Because with the metric that is being used we are not giving them hope.”
Todd agreed with Woods on at least one key point: schools should get more credit if they are able to improve students’ performances. She said her agency will advocate for that and other changes as Georgia amends its CCRPI to comply with new federal education policy.
Georgia's State School Superintendent
Richard Woods has over 25 years of pre-k through 12th grade experience in public education. > Read Full Bio