AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal tore into Richmond County schools at a press conference.
“They have too many chronically failing schools,” he said.
The next night, the schools superintendent Dr. Angela Pringle presented the system’s 2016 annual report at Cross Creek High School.
She did not take any questions, but she did reference the scoring system that Gov. Deal, and the state, uses to grade schools’ performance– the CCRPI, or College and Career Ready Performance Index.
“The CCRPI ‘score,’ the score that everyone judges your school by, is more than just passing a test,” she said.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, the CCRPI judges rates schools based on four main components: achievement, progress, achievement gap, and challenge points.
Last year, the governor’s office supported a bill that would have allowed the state to take over what they considered “chronically failing schools.” Their standard was schools that received less than a 60 on the CCPRI three years in a row.
In 2015, Richmond County had 19 schools the governor’s office considered “chronically failing.” In 2016, there were 21.
Parent Jessica Wells says she agrees with the governor’s statement.
“I think if you were talking to me last year about this, I probably wouldn’t agree with him. But seeing how things are coming out, we need more transparency and accountability in our schools,” Wells said.
But Pringle did point to improvements in 2016. More than two thirds of Richmond County High Schools improved or maintained their graduation rates, putting the overall graduation rate at 77 percent.
But she says despite gains, some schools were still not able to raise achieve a 60 on the CCRPI.
Pringle also emphasized the poverty rampant in the district. She says it is crucial that we remember just how poor Richmond County is and how poverty can make it difficult it for students to achieve and even show up.