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Effingham schools soar past state marks

POSTED: May 9, 2013 9:26 p.m.

The Effingham County School System earned high marks on the state’s new index for measuring school performance.


Effingham County’s elementary, middle and high school scores were well above the state average in Georgia’s first College and Career Ready Performance Index.


“I attribute it to hard-working teachers,” said Superintendent Randy Shearouse, “and a community dedicated to education.”


The CCRPI measures schools and school districts on a 100-point scale. The score consists of a possible 70 points for achievement, 15 for progress and 15 for achievement gap.


 The CCRPI replaced the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress standards as the school accountability measurement in Georgia. The U.S. Department of Education granted Georgia a waiver from NCLB last year.


The largest gap between the county’s scores and the state average was for high schools, where Effingham’s average score of 84.2 was well above Georgia’s 72.6. The county also surpassed the state average for elementary schools 90.9 to 83.4, and middle schools 89.0 to 81.4.


“You would like to score 100, and there are some areas we can improve on, but we’re pleased with this first look at the index,” Shearouse said. “Our analysis of the state data leads us to believe that Effingham County will be in the top 10 percent of school districts in the state.”


Effingham County ranked 21st among nearly 200 school systems in the state for its average high school CCRPI score, 22nd for its elementary school average and 30th for its middle school score.


Among the 18 Southeast Georgia school systems in the First District RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency), Effingham ranked first for its middle school score and second for both elementary and high school.


“The dedication of our teachers and support staff is certainly appreciated, as is the performance of our students,” Shearouse said. “We will be analyzing the performance index and considering changes which may contribute to our continued improvement on behalf of the students of Effingham County.”


Effingham County’s highest elementary school scores were by Marlow (95.7), South Effingham (95.3) and Rincon (95.2), followed by Blandford (93.0), Ebenezer (92.7), Sand Hill (87.6) and Guyton (86.4).


Even the county’s lowest elementary school score, 85.6 by Springfield Elementary, surpassed the state average of 83.4. SES is one of Effingham’s five Title I elementary schools.


Ebenezer had the county’s top middle school score, 95.6. South Effingham Middle scored 88.2 and Effingham County Middle 83.0.


With an 87.2, South Effingham High School scored nearly 15 points higher than the state average of 72.6. Effingham County High scored an 82.5.


“Every one of our schools scored above the state average,” Shearouse pointed out.


Making that more impressive, said Effingham County School System Information Systems Coordinator Noralee Deason, is that school systems knew very little about what the new CCRPI system would look like. In fact, she added, many of the rules and targets for CCRPI calculations have become known only in the last few weeks.


“CCRPI is the perfect example of the plane being built as it was flying,” Deason said. “To a great extent, the CCRPI scores are not the result of setting goals in response to targets clearly defined by the state. Fortunately, our system is committed to continuous improvement, even in the absence of clearly defined state goals, which is clearly evident in the system’s strong performance on this first look at CCRPI.”


Shearouse and Deason both said Effingham’s high scores were a credit not just to the work being done by teachers in the core content areas, but also the district’s commitment to programs such as CTAE (Career, Technical and Agricultural Education) and the arts.


“The excellent CCRPI results for Effingham County’s schools reflect both the high quality of instruction that occurs in classrooms every day and the system’s commitment to a well-rounded educational program,” Deason said.

Effingham County CCRPI scores
Elementary
Marlow: 95.7
South Effingham: 95.3
Rincon: 95.2
Blandford: 93.0
Ebenenzer: 92.7
Sand Hill: 87.6
Guyton: 86.4
Springfield: 85.6
County average: 90.9
State average: 83.4
State rank: 22 of 191
RESA rank: 2 of 18

Middle
Ebenezer: 95.6
South Effingham: 88.2
Effingham County: 83.0
County average: 89.0
State average: 81.4
State rank: 30 of 194
RESA rank: 1 of 18

High
SEHS: 87.2
ECHS: 82.5
County average: 84.2
State average: 72.6
State rank: 21 of 185
RESA rank: 2 of 18

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