2023 College and Career Ready Performance Index

In 1996, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation published its first “Report Card for Parents” to shine a light on the performance of Georgia’s public schools. Over time, the report grew to include not only academic metrics, but valuable information about student safety and school finances. The report also included demographic data that allowed certain schools to be recognized as “No Excuses Schools” because they outperformed their expected results, taking account of factors such as the share of their students who lived in poverty. We believed then, as we believe now, that parents armed with solid, relevant data will make the right decisions for their children and their communities.

The Foundation continued to publish this Report Card through 2010. We discontinued it once the State of Georgia, notably through the Governor’s Office for Student Achievement, itself began publishing both a wider and deeper trove of data on these topics. Federal law also changed along the way, with the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) and its successor law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), establishing requirements for standardized testing and the public reporting of related data. In short, the need for publicly available data was filled by others, and the Foundation stepped back and attended to other matters.

However, it seems that everything old is new again. The COVID-19 global pandemic that hit Georgia in 2020 caused standardized testing that year to be canceled as schools were closed to in-person instruction. Since then, the State of Georgia has sought and received a series of waivers from the federal government that have disrupted the reporting of timely, relevant and meaningful information about students’ academic performance. Four years later, with students having long since returned to their schoolhouses, this trend has continued in a worrying direction. The latest development was the Georgia Department of Education’s request to waive permanently the federal requirements to publish its overall, 0-100 score for the state, local districts and individual public schools. The Biden administration granted this request in October 2023. As a result, the Georgia DOE in December 2023 published scores for five components – Content Mastery, Progress, Closing Gaps, Readiness and, for high schools, Graduation Rate – for each district and school based on testing from the spring of 2023. But it did not use its weighted formula to convert these component scores into one CCRPI score for them.

The Georgia DOE framed this waiver request as a matter of avoiding “oversimplif(ying) the complicated factors that influence school quality.” The Foundation agrees that more information is preferable to less information. However, we also believe it is helpful for parents to have a single, easily comprehensible score that reflects the relative importance of these “complicated factors” – just as the component scores themselves reflect a weighing of various subcomponents. High school students receive grades for each class they take, as well as an overall Grade Point Average that combines these scores into a single number on a familiar scale. Parents appreciate the clarity of such a bottom-line score as much as the simplicity, and can be trusted to investigate further if that score causes questions or disappointment.

With that in mind, the Foundation is returning to its roots and publishing the CCRPI scores, by grade cluster (elementary, middle and high) for the state, local districts and individual public schools. We used the component scores published by the Georgia DOE in December 2023 and the weights assigned to each of those components for the 2018 and 2019 CCRPI scores (acknowledging that the data for 2020-2022 were too incomplete to reconstruct).

This process yielded an overall CCRPI score of 75.9 for elementary schools statewide, 70.8 for middle schools, and 73.5 for high schools. Compared to 2019, these scores reflect declines of 5.0 percent, 8.0 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, spending per pupil increased by 27.5 percent between 2019 and 2023, or by 10.0 percent when adjusted for inflation.

Looking at the district level, among elementary schools:

  • The top quartile saw increases ranging from 7.4 percent to 45.4 percent;
  • The middle half saw changes ranging from an increase of 7.4 percent to a decline of 8.6 percent;
  • The bottom quartile saw decreases ranging from 8.7 percent to 32.2 percent.

Among middle schools: 

  • The top quartile saw increases ranging from 6.0 percent to 47.3 percent;
  • The middle half saw changes ranging from an increase of 5.6 percent to a decline of 10.8 percent;
  • The bottom quartile saw decreases ranging from 11.3 percent to 43.8 percent.

Among high schools:

  • The top quartile saw increases ranging from 0.3 percent to 25.9 percent;
  • The middle half saw changes ranging from an increase of 0.2 percent to a decline of 12.7 percent;
  • The bottom quartile saw decreases ranging from 12.8 percent to 37.7 percent.

Turning to individual schools:

  • Among elementary schools with scores in both 2019 and 2023, 52 percent saw declines between those years.
  • Among middle schools, 64 percent saw declines.
  • Among high schools, 70 percent saw declines.
  • Across all schools, 58 percent saw declines.

Finally, looking at all schools with a CCRPI score for 2023, and using a standard grading scale (A = 90-100, B = 80-89, C = 70-79, D = 60-69, F = 59 and below), we see the following percentages:

  • 8.3 percent of schools received an A;
  • 18.3 percent received a B;
  • 30.5 percent received a C;
  • 29.2 percent received a D; and
  • 13.7 percent received an F.

The CCRPI scores for each local district and individual school are listed in the tables below, grouped as districts, by grade cluster; elementary schools; middle schools; and high schools. We encourage Georgians to find their local district and school and examine their scores for 2019 and 2023 and the change between those years. Full information about the components of these scores, as well as other information regarding districts and schools can be found on the Georgia DOE’s website.

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