The new scoring system also downplays the importance of closing the achievement gap for at-risk groups, dropping the weight in that category from 15 percent to 10 percent.
These new changes are the latest sign of the diminishing influence of raw test scores on schools’ perceived performance. In the recent past, achievement counted for 70 percent of the CCRPI measure.
There’s been plenty of debate about whether raw achievement or growth is the best measure of academic performance. Melissa Fincher, the testing chief for the Georgia Department of Education, said these latest changes are an attempt to strike a balance and also take into account the way students are categorized under the new Milestones tests. Under the old Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests and high school End of Course Tests, students were broken into three categories: failing, “meets” and “exceeds.” The Milestones use four categories that basically mean failing, just about failing, meets and exceeds.
“If we don’t change the CCRPI, it won’t show where our schools are,” she said.