Georgia schools get average grades on new performance measurement

standardized testingThe mediocre performance grades schools and districts got Monday are proof that the days of tossing out puffed-up academic measures that aren’t matched by reality are on their way out, Georgia Superintendent John Barge said.

“I’m not going to color things inappropriately for anybody,” said Barge, who is running for governor. “Our goal was to design something that would drive school improvement.”

Georgia’s elementary, middle and high school performance all earned modest grades on the state’s new College and Career-Ready Performance Index, which uses test scores and a host of other factors to give schools and districts a grade. Those grades are supposed to be roughly equivalent to the score a student gets on a test, with a grade in the 70s being average, a grade in the 80s being good and one in the 90s being exceptional.

The index shows Georgia’s schools to be exceptionally average. Elementary schools got an overall grade of 78.5 for performance based on the 2012-2013 school year. Middle schools got a 75, and high schools got a 72.

The elementary and middle school grades were slight improvements from the year before while the high school score was down.

No one will automatically be fired for a poor score, and department officials said they will make assistance available to schools and districts that fare poorly.

By Wayne Washington
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


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