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Elementary, middle schools outpace region on new scores

CONYERS -- In addition to Rockdale County Public Schools' elementary and middle schools outperforming state averages on a new accountability system, they also outperformed the regional education system. Its high schools still fell short of the region average.

RCPS Superintendent Richard Autry reported Thursday that the region's elementary schools scored a possible 81 out of 100 points on the first-ever state College and Career Ready Performance Index that was released earlier this month, compared to RCPS elementary schools' 85.7; the state average was 83.4. The region's middle schools scored 82.6, compared to Rockdale's 87 and the state's 81.4.

The region consists of Atlanta Public Schools, Decatur City Schools, Marietta City Schools and Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett county schools in the Metro Regional Educational Service Agency.

"We still have a ways to go," Autry told members of the Rockdale County Board of Education during Thursday's monthly work session, adding that they system's high schools have "much room for improvement."

He said that the system expectation is for all schools to perform at the 90 percent bar or higher in all testing areas.

The RESA's high school average is 70.3, compared to the state 72.6 and Rockdale's 67.6.

"We continue to be below the state and below the RESA, and to put it bluntly, that is unacceptable," Autry said about the high school results.

He said the high school scores are partly due to poor performance in ninth- and 10th-grade math curriculums, which are new. He added that schools have implemented tutorial strategies to help struggling students.

"We are hopeful we'll see increased results and this will be a start of an upward trend," he said.

He added that he is pleased with preliminary data for Criterion Referenced Competency Tests from this school year, which test math and other subjects at the elementary and middle school level. CRCT results may be released later this month.

The CCRPI was measured in part by using results from the CRCT at the elementary and middle school levels, as well as End of Course Tests at the high school level.