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Preparing Students for College & Careers

August 29, 2013
A group of students work on a science project.

Georgia schools are using a new accountability system called the College & Career Ready Performance Index to give parents a more in-depth picture of what’s happening in schools. Unlike the outdated No Child Left Behind Act, the index moves beyond the pass/fail system based on standardized test scores and provides a comprehensive look at student performance.

Aiming to encourage effective teaching and school leadership, support innovation in low performing schools and reduce duplicative reporting requirements for local school districts, the index takes into account multiple academic subjects and measurements. For the first time ever, school accountability includes financial efficiency and school climate.

Most importantly, the index gives principals and teachers a gauge of how well they are preparing students for college and careers. This means that all students graduate from high school with both rigorous content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge.

The index includes scores that easily communicate to the public how a school is doing. Each school will receive a score out of 100 points, just as students do in their classes.

A school and district’s overall score will be made up of 3 major areas:

  • general achievement;
  • progress with challenging student populations; and
  • closing the achievement gap.

Schools can receive extra points if they have a high number of economically disadvantaged students, English language learners and students with disabilities meeting or exceeding expectations. While the financial efficiency and school climate ratings won’t be part of a school’s overall index score, parents and community members can review the ratings to determine how their schools are performing in those areas.

Check out the index online at

Department of Education Superintendent John Barge

About the Author

A Cobb County native, Dr. John Barge has worked to better education for more than 20 years. He's served as a high school English teacher, middle school Spanish teacher, assistant principal and principal. Before his election as State School Superintendent in Nov. 2010, he also held positions in the Bartow County School System and Georgia Department of Education.

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