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Pa. statewide school grading data released

October 4, 2013
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania education officials released performance scores Friday for nearly all of the state's 3,200 traditional, charter, cyber and technical schools, saying they will give parents, administrators and taxpayers the ability monitor student achievement, build on successes and better address failings.

The performance scores were available online at paschoolperformance.org, and acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq said she was pleased by the number of school buildings that scored well.

The data release came after a four-day delay prompted by complaints from school officials that technical errors had resulted in many students' tests not being included in the scoring. As a result, performance scores for 626 buildings were incomplete while school officials try to correct the errors before the end of the year.

School Performance Profiles offer academic ratings for each building based on a 100-point scale.

"Realizing how difficult it is to get great scores, for me, 70 starts to be the mark of moving toward success," Dumaresq told reporters on a conference call Friday. "I use that roughly as a benchmark. Even our schools that are in the 90s may have an area that needs improvement."

Dumaresq said it appeared that at least 72 percent of school buildings in Pennsylvania had cleared that benchmark, "which I think is phenomenal."

The new profiles replace the previous standard known as AYP, or adequate yearly progress, which was based solely on student math and reading scores. Pennsylvania is no longer required to use that benchmark since receiving a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Schools are now judged on data that include attendance, participation in standardized testing, graduation rates and closing the achievement gap. Ratings will be updated annually.

Parents can use the ratings to compare academic options for their children, while administrators can use the data to set goals and allocate resources, officials said. The comprehensive profiles also include statistics like enrollment and dropout rates.

 
 

 

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