ATLANTA — The state Department of Education (DOE) has identified 175 low-performing schools that need additional support to improve student performance for the 2022-2023 school year.
In good news, 57 schools exited the list for the year. This is the first year the state has updated the list of schools that will receive additional support since 2019 due to the data limitations imposed by the COVID pandemic.
The schools are all Title I schools – schools where at least 40% of the students are from low-income families. The schools are identified as needing either Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI).
Schools are typically selected for the CSI list if they have very low performance on the state’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) or a graduation rate of less than 67%. This year, the DOE modified the selection process due to the COVID pandemic, focusing on progress on English-language learning and school readiness.
The 116 CSI-designated schools will receive additional support directly from the DOE’s Office of School Improvement. The schools are eligible for additional funding and receive specialist leadership and instructional support.
The 59 TSI schools will receive additional support from their school districts along with targeted assistance from the DOE. These schools are chosen based on the presence of a demographic subgroup performing in the lowest 5% of all CCRPI components.
While many of the schools are located in metro Atlanta, schools on the lists come from across the state and across grade levels. The program is part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act Congress passed in 2015.
“It is our responsibility as a state to provide the support all schools need to improve,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods, who was recently re-elected to his third term in office.
Woods emphasized that the designation is not meant to be punitive and that the schools on the lists faced serious challenges from the pandemic.
“Being identified for CSI or TSI support does not mean these schools are not making progress,” Woods said. “Over the last several years, our schools have faced enormous challenges beyond their control, and school leaders, teachers, and families have worked hard to get students back on track.
“CSI and TSI identifications allow us to come alongside these schools to ensure they have the resources and support necessary for academic recovery.”
“It was good to see that [the DOE] did consider progress, not just the standardized test scores but providing support for… students who are English-language learners and also considering students’ readiness for school,” said Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Association of Educators. “We know that our students in Title I schools face additional challenges due to circumstances beyond their control.”
“It is important that we change the language and the references we make around these issues…I think it is important that we’re not labeling schools [as failing], and therefore, educators, students and families,” said Morgan. “It’s important that we keep our students front and center and that the focus be on supporting students and the educators that are working with them every day, so that all of our students can be successful.”
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.