Strategic Waivers School Systems Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What are Strategic Waivers School Systems (SWSS)?

    Strategic Waivers School Systems (SWSS) enter into multi-year performance contracts with the State Board of Education (SBOE) to gain greater flexibility from state laws and regulations to increase student achievement. Schools in SWSS districts must meet yearly performance targets as part of the district's contract. GOSA monitors progress towards meeting these targets and reports to the SBOE.

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  • What is a yearly performance target?

    As part of a district’s SWSS contract, schools that report Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) data (except local charter schools) are expected to meet a yearly performance target. This is an annual goal designed to show whether a school has improved over time. Schools can meet the yearly performance target by achieving or exceeding the target CCRPI Single Score calculated by GOSA. A school can also meet the yearly performance target by earning a designation of “Beating the Odds” in GOSA’s Beating the Odds analysis. Note that designations of “Within Expected Range” and “Below Expected Range” do not count as meeting the yearly performance target. An example BTO calculation is available on the BTO website.

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  • How does GOSA determine whether a SWSS school meets its yearly performance target?

    To meet its yearly performance target, a school must meet or exceed its target CCRPI Single Score or “Beat the Odds.” To meet or exceed the CCRPI target, the school must annually increase its CCRPI score by three percent of the gap between the baseline year CCRPI Single Score and 100. If a school does not meet its target CCRPI Single Score, the school can meet its yearly performance target if it “Beats the Odds”. The Beating the Odds (BTO) analysis, developed in partnership by GOSA and GaDOE, compares a school’s CCRPI Single Score to its expected performance. Note that designations of “Within Expected Range” and “Below Expected Range” do not count as meeting the yearly performance target. Districts can read an overview of the Beating the Odds analysis on GOSA’s website.

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  • How will GOSA determine if a school has met the terms of the SWSS contract?

    Given the 2017-2018 baseline reset, Year Two (2017-2018) is a baseline reset year that does not count for or against a school. As a result, a school will be deemed as meeting the terms of its contract at the end of the contract term if:

    • It meets its targets or “Beats the Odds” in two of the four other years (Years One, Three, Four, or Five), or
    • It shows three years of growth by meeting the revised Year Five target, which will represent three years of growth from the Year Two baseline, or “Beating the Odds” in the fifth year.
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  • How are the yearly performance targets calculated?

    Targets increase annually by three percent of the gap between the baseline CCRPI Single Score and 100. A school whose CCRPI Single Score is currently in or moves into the top quartile threshold for the appropriate grade cluster is required to remain at or above this threshold for the remaining years. View sample calculation.

    Grade Cluster Top Quartile Threshold
    Elementary 81.1
    Middle 80.0
    High 80.2
    Multiple 78.4
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  • What does it mean if a school “Beats the Odds”?

    Beating the Odds (BTO) is a statistical analysis that provides additional context for a school's CCRPI score based on characteristics outside of the school’s control. The primary purpose of BTO is to complement the CCRPI as an accountability measure in performance contracts between schools or districts and the State Board of Education. For SWSS accountability, if a school fails to meet its target CCRPI Single Score, the school will be deemed as meeting its yearly performance target if the school earns a designation of “Beating the Odds.”  If a school fails to meet its target CCRPI Single Score and earns a designation of “Within Expected Range” or “Below Expected Range,” the school will be deemed as not meeting its yearly performance target.

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  • What happens if a school does not meet the yearly performance target?

    Due to the baseline reset, Year Two (2017-2018) does not count for or against a school. Schools that do not meet their performance target in Year Three (2018-2019) must submit a school improvement plan (SIP). GOSA will email district superintendents information on how to submit this information. GOSA encourages districts to utilize existing local school improvement plans and other available internal resources when submitting this information.

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  • How do I view the evaluation results?

    The SWSS Evaluation Dashboard provides evaluation results for all SWSS districts. (Please note the dashboard is currently in Beta form and may not be accessible on all mobile devices). GOSA has not yet updated the SWSS Evaluation Dashboard to reflect the 2018 (Year Two) baseline reset.

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  • My school is in a SWSS district. Why is its information not on the SWSS dashboard?

    Schools that do not have CCRPI Single Scores are not included in the SWSS Dashboard. Additionally, local charter schools in SWSS districts are not on the dashboard because these schools are not included in SWSS contracts.

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  • What years of accountability are included in the SWSS contracts?
    Year of Contract School Year CCRPI Year
    Original Baseline 2015-2016 2016 CCRPI
    Year One 2016-2017 2017 CCRPI
    Year Two
    (Baseline Reset)
    2017-2018 2018 CCRPI
    Year Three

    2018-2019

    2019 CCRPI

    Year Four 2019-2020 2020 CCRPI
    Year Five 2020-2021 2021 CCRPI
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  • How do the SWSS contracts account for the revised College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI)?

    To comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) modified the calculation of the CCRPI, beginning with the 2018 CCRPI. Since the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) set the original targets based on the previous CCRPI calculation, and the 2018 CCRPI is not comparable with that of previous years, GOSA reset the targets in 2018. GOSA calculated the new targets using the 2018 CCRPI as a baseline. Therefore, Year Two (2017-2018) serves as the baseline reset year, meaning Year Two performance does not count for or against a school. Please refer to the GaDOE website for more information about the revised CCRPI.

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  • How does the baseline reset year impact the contract timeline?

    The baseline reset year occurred during Year Two (2017-2018) and does not count for or against a school. The number of years in the contract did not change.

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  • How will the changes to CCRPI and the baseline reset change the terms of the contract?

    As a result of the baseline reset, Exhibits C, D, E, F, and G of the SWSS Partnership Contracts require amendments. The revised exhibits incorporate the new baseline year for CCRPI and updated yearly performance targets for each school. Districts provided these revised exhibits to GaDOE, and the State Board of Education approved all amended SWSS contracts at its February 2019 monthly meeting.

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  • What happens if schools in a SWSS district reconfigure?

    Each year, GaDOE produces a list of schools which have changed school codes, merged, or split between school years. GOSA evaluates how to match schools across years for the purposes of SWSS evaluation using this list. Changes to schools that occurred between the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years will not be taken into account until late 2019. GOSA will consider changes to SWSS targets for schools that changed at that time. Districts can provide documentation of school reconfigurations (such as press releases or board meeting minutes) to GOSA.

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  • How can a district request an amendment to the waivers in Exhibit B of the SWSS contract?

    To request an amendment to the waivers in the SWSS contract, districts should contact GaDOE. Contact information is available on the GaDOE SWSS webpage.

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