ATLANTA — Roughly one out of every three schools chartered by the state scored better in a new Georgia ranking than the districts they are in, the State Charter Schools Commission learned Wednesday.
That also means two out of every three scored worse. One school matched the score of its home district.
The commission’s executive director, Bonnie Holliday, presented a breakdown of the scores released earlier this month by the Department of Education on its initial College and Career Readiness Performance Index for the 2011-12 school year. The department will take until October to compile the results from the school year that just ended.
“There’s good news and bad news,” Holliday told the seven-member commission. “The good news is we’re doing well in the areas I think we should. The bad news is we’re not doing well enough.”
The index is a 110-point scale for comparing schools. Most of the score comes from different aspects of student performance, but 15 points come from progress made by students, with another 15 for reducing the gap between a school’s weakest students and the state average. Schools can pick up 10 points for innovation.
Among the subcategories for progress, achievement gap and innovation, the charter schools did even better than their overall scores, as Holliday said they should. In the progress subtotal, about half of the elementary and middle schools outperformed their districts while three-fourths of the high schools did. In reducing achievement gaps, 56 percent of the charter elementary schools exceeded their districts, and two-thirds of the middle and high schools did. In innovation, 44 percent of the elementary schools, 73 percent of the middle schools and 50 percent of the high schools bested their districts.
The commission has granted charters to 14 schools, one of which wasn’t in operation during the 2011-12 school year. Voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow it to authorize independent schools over the objections of the districts where they are located.
The charter-school scores we pretty good considering most of the schools had not been in operation long, meaning they would not have had much time to make an impact on students, said Commission Chairman Charles Knapp.
Plus, he noted, they were all in turmoil over a decision by the Georgia Supreme Court that invalidated the law that created the schools, which was later addressed by the constitutional amendment.