2017 Beating the Odds Results

The Georgia Department of Education uses the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) to measure school effectiveness. However, we see that CCRPI results are correlated with factors outside of a school’s control, like the percentage of economically disadvantaged students. To measure how schools perform compared to those serving similar students, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement uses the Beating the Odds (BTO) metric. This metric compares a school’s CCRPI score with the performance of schools with similar characteristics across the state. The BTO formula includes factors like the percentage of students in poverty, students with disabilities, and English learners. See here for a complete list.

The table below shows Beating the Odds scores for APS schools over the past four years. High-performing results are shown in blue. The table shows that Cleveland Elementary consistently has a high Beating the Odds score. Their 2017 BTO score of 15.4 indicates their 2017 CCRPI score was 15.4 points higher than other schools serving similar students.

Use the menus on the left to view BTO scores for different grade levels or clusters. Notice there are grade-level options for schools with non-traditional grade bands. For example, Centennial switches from “Elementary” to “K-8” in 2015. This follows how GOSA shares the data.

GOSA typically reports BTO results as “Beat the Odds” or “Did not Beat the Odds”, but their results also include predicted scores (based on the average of similar schools) and actual scores, which allows us to produce the more detailed results above.

Atlanta Public Schools’ district level CCRPI score was lower than the state’s in 2017. However, after controlling for differences in student population with the BTO metric, the majority of APS schools performed higher than their peers. The graph below shows the relationship between predicted and actual CCRPI scores. APS schools, highlighted in blue, tend to be above the trend line, which means the majority of APS schools performed better than other schools that serve similar students.

BTO results also appear on our school profile page as the second indicator, titled, “CCRPI Comparison”.

For those interested, here are a few additional notes on BTO:

  • For more information on the CCRPI, see our results blog post, or the state’s CCRPI page.
  • BTO uses CCRPI, but does not include the Challenge Points section of CCRPI. This is because challenge points are awarded due to the performance of different subgroups and BTO’s statistical model includes controls for the same subgroups. The remaining CCRPI categories that are used, Achievement, Achievement Gap, and Progress, sum to 100 points. Challenge points are worth a maximum of ten points and are sometimes described as “bonus points”.
  • Before 2016, BTO used percentage of students in free and reduced lunch (FRL) as a measure of poverty. In 2016, the BTO includes two models, one with FRL, and one with the percentage of students who are directly certified for free lunch. This post uses the direct-certified version for 2016 and 2017 because it is a more precise measure of poverty, especially in APS. See this link for details.
  • Schools that have relatively unique populations have less precise BTO estimates. For example, Forrest Hill Academy is an alternative school with very high student mobility, so there are few comparison schools in the state. For this reason, their BTO estimate is less informative. The BTO results file from GOSA includes confidence intervals as a measure of precision.
  • The link above also includes a technical manual on the BTO calculation. The short explanation is that the BTO score is calculated using a regression of school CCRPI scores on school demographic variables, using all public schools in Georgia. The resulting coefficients are then used to calculate each school’s predicted CCRPI score.