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CCRPI proves hard to translate

Posted: May 14, 2013 - 11:03pm  |  Updated: May 15, 2013 - 12:19pm

It wasn’t easy. The admission required a dose of humility.

But finally I had to admit defeat.

After weeks of discussions and brow-furrowing efforts, at last I was beaten by the College and Career Readiness Performance Index.

Before the start of this school year, educators were chattering about how AYP would be replaced with CCRPI, using information from CRCT and other factors.

The alphabet soup of education bureaucrats, from Washington, D.C., on down, was bad enough. But explaining what all this meant to parents was the real challenge.

See, when you’re writing about this sort of thing for a general audience, you have to boil down the explanations from the experts into something the public can grasp – preferably without their eyes glazing over. But what do you do if your own eyes glaze over while trying to get those initial explanations?

It didn’t help that every single education official who I asked to explain CCRPI only seemed to further complicate it. Making matters worse, at least to me, is that we weren’t talking about particle physics or something really brainy. We were just talking about a method for determining whether or not schools are doing their jobs.

Why in the world is that so difficult?

The problem, I suppose, is that rating the relative success of schools really is easier said that done (notwithstanding the obvious: that most anything is easier said than done). But that’s also why there are so many different factors that come into play in ranking schools on the new CCRPI. The thought is that if enough benchmarks are used, the broad spectrum will give a pretty good overall idea of how each school and school system performs compared to other public schools. It helps ensure that apples are compared to apples, to use another colloquialism.

All of that, however, doesn’t mean much if you can’t explain to parents why it matters – and that’s where I’m stuck. While I sort of get the concept – and I’m now thrilled to learn that my wife’s school received the highest rating in Columbia County – I just couldn’t figure out how to boil CCRPI down into a digestible explanation.

It doesn’t help that, not long ago, we finally figured out all the jargon that goes along with “Adequate Yearly Progress.” Now we have a whole new educationese vocabulary to learn, and I’m not even sure all of it is in English.

So, for any of the parents who were hoping for a good, succinct explanation of what all that means, I apologize for letting you down.

And if anyone figures out a way to explain it in such a way that it wouldn’t put a pet rock to sleep? I’d love to hear from you.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@news-times online.com, or call 706-868-1222, ext. 106. Follow at www.twitter.com/

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Comments (4)


Changing names for the sake of changing names?

Replacing one acronym with another? We have information that you do not have? There was an article recently, I believe in the AC, or an AP download, which talked about how governments change words simply as a form of control. Control of the masses is what government is all about. Food Stamps had a negative connotation, so now it is SNAP. Welfare became Entitlements. Corporations used to periodically change their logos spending millions so they could write off excessive profits.

Confusion you say? Deliberate you say? God's word says that in these present days, good will be called bad and bad will be called good. Simple answer to a not complex situation.

Anytime the government uses the words like fair, open and honest, or affordable, we can be certain the outcome will be just the opposite.


Congrats to Stevens Creek.

Congrats to Stevens Creek. That's where my son attended. It's "our" school. My son jokes about planting the trees out front and the way the teachers told them it would be a nature trail with lots of trees in a few years. Everytime he passes the struggling trees he jokes it's taking longer than they thought.