Explaining CCRPI Results – High School, part 1

 

high school

In contrast with the elementary school and middle school CCRPI, Douglas County’s high school CCRPI increased in 2017 (by 1.3 points) and also beat the state CCRPI (by 3.2 points) . In view of persistently low levels of high school student achievement in Douglas County and the fact that many recent graduates are not doing well in college , how can we account for this result?

Table 1 breaks down the main components for CCRPI for the District versus the State.  Douglas County scores exceed the state by one point or more in Achievement (a composite measure of success from a single year); Progress (basically the change in EOC test scores from the previous year relative to groups of similar students across the state); and Challenge (up to 10 extra bonus points earned through a variety of means). Let’s analyze each of these in order.

HS CCRPI t1

‘Achievement’ is comprised of 18 indicators, which are grouped into 3 categories: ‘Content Mastery’ (#1-8) is a weighted average of passing rates on the eight EOC exams and counts for 40% of the points; ‘Post High School Readiness’ (#9-16) includes a variety of indicators predictive of career and/or college success and counts for 30%; and ‘Graduation Rate’ (#17-18) includes both the 4-year and the 5-year rate and counts for 30%. Table 2 shows the relative weight of each indicator, and compares the points Douglas County earned on each with the State.

The eight indicators in which the District outperforms the State are in bold (see Indicator Key at bottom). Three are EOC exam scores; two are graduation rates. Of the remaining three in Post High School Readiness, two (#s 12 and 13) have to do with completion of courses or a sequence of courses, and not with achievement assessed independently of the schools, which means they can be driven up by lowering standards and inflating grades. For example, we know that nearly 100% of students pass AP courses in Douglas County, even though only 10-15% take and pass AP exams. This high course pass rate is the main reason why the district scores high on indicator 12.

Notice the contrast between indicator 12 and indicator 11, which is called the “College Readiness” Indicator. It is the percentage of graduates meeting at least one of a list of achievement known to predict for success in college. Only 63% of Douglas County graduates qualified, compared to 73% for the state, yet more are passing “accelerated courses” like AP.

HS CCRPI t2

To assess the impact of these indicators on the overall CCRPI, it is helpful to look at the relative contribution of each of the three categories. Table 3 shows the “weighted achievement’ of each category.  Douglas County earned 71% of the possible achievement points compared to 69% from the state, resulting in a 1.1 point differential due to higher scores in Post High School Readiness and Graduation Rate. How much of this difference is due to REAL achievement?

HS CCRPI t3

Indicator 10 requires students to pass an “end of pathway assessment.” These are technical skills tests linked to industry standards. I know very little about what these entail, but if they are indeed assessed by experts external to the schools, this would be a legitimate and significant achievement. However, as already explained, Indicators 12 and 13, which together account for over 2/3rds of the 0.85 point difference, merely require completion and thus can be driven up by manipulating/inflating grades.

As for Graduation Rates, we know that these are too high relative to real measures of academic achievement. If graduation rates were proportional to real achievement, the Douglas County’s rates would be lower than the state’s. Thus, at least 1 point of the CCRPI difference is due to Douglas County’s inflated graduation rates.

Finally, the Challenge Points are also 1.1 points higher than the State. Challenge Points have two sub-categories: the performance of disadvantaged students and “exceeding the bar” points that can be earned in nine different ways. Both the district’s and the state’s Challenge Points were earned in the former category. Does this mean, then, that Douglas County’s disadvantaged students (economically disadvantaged, English language learners, and students with disabilities) are doing better than disadvantaged students throughout the state?

That is a complicated question, and will be the focus of Part 2 of this post.

INDICATOR KEY

1 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones Ninth Grade Literature EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
2 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones American Literature EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
3 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones Algebra I/Coordinate Algebra EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
4 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones Geometry/Analytic Geometry EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
5 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones Physical Science EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
6 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones Biology EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
7 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones US History EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
8 – Weighted percent of students scoring at Developing Learner or above on the Georgia Milestones Economics EOC (required participation rate >= 95%)
9 – Percent of graduates completing a CTAE pathway, or an advanced academic pathway, or an IB Career Related Programme, or a fine arts pathway, or a world language pathway within their program of study
10 – Percent of graduates completing a CTAE pathway and earning a national industry recognized credential (passing an end of pathway assessment)
11 – Percent of graduates entering TCSG/USG not requiring remediation or learning support courses; or scoring at least 22 out of 36 on the composite ACT;
or scoring at least 480 out of 800 on Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 530 out of 800 on Math on SAT; or scoring 3 or higher on two or more AP exams; or scoring 4 or higher on two or more IB exams
12 – Percent of graduates earning high school credit(s) for accelerated enrollment via Move on When Ready, Advanced Placement courses, or International Baccalaureate courses
13 – Percent of graduates completing a career-related Work-Based Learning Program or career-related Capstone Project (Includes IB projects)
14 – Percent of students achieving a Lexile measure greater than or equal to 1275 on the Georgia Milestones American Literature EOC
15 – Percent of students’ assessments scoring at Proficient or Distinguished Learner on Georgia Milestones EOCs
16 – Percent of students missing fewer than 6 days of school
17 – 2017 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate (%)
18 – 2016 5-Year Extended Cohort Graduation Rate (%)

 

 

 

 

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