College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) metrics, Georgia opt out, reporting, learning loss, grading system for schools, Georgia news, ga news

Georgia parents deserve full transparency from state school systems

Key Points

  • Georgia received a waiver from reporting its College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) metrics, including the A-F grading system for schools.
  • The CCRPI metrics assess student performance, including comprehension of class content and preparedness for college and the workforce.
  • GADOE announced its intention to request a permanent waiver from CCRPI grading, raising concerns about transparency and public input.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many state school systems across the country were waived from receiving a grade from the US Department of Education (DOE) under The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The unprecedented circumstances brought on by the pandemic created unforeseen educational  challenges. Naturally, children who spent time in lockdown, away from school, and relegated to unfamiliar online classes could be expected to fall behind educationally. Like many other states, Georgia received a waiver from reporting its College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) metrics, specifically the A-F grading system for schools that gauge their performance.

But now the state of Georgia has asked to be permanently excused from reporting the A-F grading CCRPI evaluations. The state allowed less than a week for public comment on the proposal, opting not to announce the request via press release. In the past, similar issues have allowed a 30-day window for public comment, at the very least.

With students back in school and educational institutions back to their regular operations, why make this request now? And why the lack of transparency in the process? The exemption from the A-F reporting requirement takes away the public’s ability to easily assess how schools are performing. It’s a knock against real transparency that serves no one but the educational bureaucracy.

The bottom line is that wise school choice depends on parents’ ability to access information about school performance. Without that information, they’re risking their children’s educational opportunities—and maybe even their future.


“The bottom line is that wise school choice depends on parents’ ability to access information about school performance.”

“The bottom line is that wise school choice depends on parents’ ability to access information about school performance.”

About the CCRPI and temporary COVID waivers

In 2012, the CCRPI was launched. Its purpose was to encourage more transparency in terms of school performance. Parents and the public needed to know more about how their local school systems were performing, and the CCRPI not only provides this information—it also allows parents to compare their child’s current school with others in the area.

In terms of measuring performance, the CCRPI assigns a letter grade of A-F to each school. The scoring system reveals how well students are performing in each school, including how well they comprehend their class content and whether they’re keeping up with their grade level. This score also reveals how well-prepared older students are for college and the workforce.

CCRPI scoring was waived beginning in March of 2020, and schools weren’t required to report data as usual. This waiver continued throughout 2021. However, in 2022, as the nation largely resumed business as usual, the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) was awarded additional waivers.


Seeking a permanent exemption

GADOE published an announcement on its website on January 25, 2023, informing the public that it intended to ask the DOE for a permanent waiver from CCRPI grading. Although the state collects and aggregates all the required metrics, GADOE now seeks to stop submitting the data completely.

As the ESEA requires each state to create its own school accountability system and report its findings to the DOE, it seems questionable that Georgia would completely extract itself from transparency not only at the state level, but at the federal level, too.

Most alarming was the lack of transparency involved in the process. There was no press release published to announce the potential change. As previously mentioned, what’s even worse is that GADOE allowed for fewer than five business days for members of the public to submit their feedback, rather than the standard 30 days.


Reducing transparency hurts Georgia families 

While GADOE attempts to evade school grading, numbers don’t lie. Georgia’s most recent CCRPI scores from 2019 indicate that over 780 schools in Georgia received Ds and Fs. That’s about one-third of the state’s students. GADOE might argue that the proof of school performance lies in the state’s graduation rates, but graduation rates can be manipulated and aren’t a reliable indicator of how well a school performs academically.

Schools that receive Ds and Fs from CCRPI are, by default, not serving their students well. No matter how high their graduation numbers may be, the real proof is in how well (or poorly) they score according to CCRPI academic standards.

There is no compelling case that can be made as to why Georgia’s exemption from CCRPI reporting is an improvement, or how it helps families in our state.

GADOE appears to be skirting the standard process for notifying the public and seeking appropriate input. It’s up to Georgia voters to make their voices heard and demand continued school transparency from its elected officials.

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