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Schools await performance rating
Members of the Glynn County Board of Education say they will reserve judgment on the data being used by the state Department of Education in its report card on schools and school systems until they see their grade.

The Georgia Department of Education will release a new analysis of school systems and their performance called the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The rating is like a school report card.

"Until it comes out and I see everything, I don't really have an opinion on it," Glynn County school board member John Madala said. "We'll just have to see. It might be a good thing as it gives us a new way to measure our performance."

What was formerly the Adequate Yearly Progress score will now be an assigned grade under the new standards.

The grade will be assigned between zero and 100 for each school, as well as each system. It will be based on factors such as graduation rate, standardized tests scores and attendance records, as well as a school's ability to close the achievement gap between varying groups and sub-groups of students.

One of the goals of the new rating system is to assess where schools need to improve based on a more complex, comprehensive amount of information.

Hank Yeargan, a member of the school board, is optimistic.

"It doesn't look at just the students who are struggling," Yeargan said. "No Child Left Behind emphasized only certain areas and (the new grading system) really takes in almost all aspects.

"To me this is a better way of evaluating and what all is out there and what all a school system can offer."

He believes the performance index will hold schools and systems accountable for all students, whether they're at the top of the class or struggling.

Jerry Mancil, who also serves on the school board, is not as optimistic as Yeargan that the array of grading criteria will make the system better, but he, like the others, is willing to wait and see.

"If need be, we can make adjustments and I'm sure the staff will be ready for whatever comes," he said of the yet-to-be released report card. "Sometimes you can muddy up the waters with the more things you look at, but we'll have to wait and as a community, figure out what is important to us and move on from there once we receive the score."

Mancil says a new ratings system is almost something he expects in what has been a frequently changing curriculum over the last decade in the state. "It's really like we're trying to hit a moving target sometimes, but we just have to wait," he said.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slun

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