Pennsylvania Department of Education to launch School Performance Profiles

On Monday, Sept. 30, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will launch the School Performance Profile, replacing the adequate yearly progress designation. These profiles will seek to provide an overview of student academic performance in every Pennsylvania public school. Among these profiled schools will be traditional public schools, charter schools, cyber charter schools and career and technology centers.

“This year there’s a big change to the AYP , now there’s a new system—a better system—that looks at more than just proficiency,” said Boyertown Superintendent Dr. Richard Faidley. “The percentage makes it easy for people to look at schools and compare them. It’s fast data.”

According to the PDE website, the School Performance Profile will be used for federal accountability for Title I schools under the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver, the new teacher and principal evaluation system.

Through this system, each school within each district will be evaluated and will receive a ‘building level academic score.’

The score for each school is based upon parameters that define a high performing school; manyelements are taken into account to determine the score. These elements include indicators of Academic Achievement such as the PSSA’s and the Key Stone exams, closing the achievement gap—all students, closing the achievement gap – historically underperforming students, academic growth / PVAAS, and other areas such as the graduation rate, promotion rate and attendance rate.

“Whatever the scores are, people will be able to interpret them,” said Faidley. “It will offer the ability to communicate our strengths to the community and will refine targets on what we need to approve upon. This is a starting point.”

“The score is still heavy on testing, but expresses growth. It’s looking at where a school was and whether they’re made growth. We’ll get a score back for all 10 schools and we’ll use that information to continue student improvement,” said Greg M. Miller, Boyertown’s Supervisor of Student Achievement and Data. “There’s different information for different schools. We hope the community members understand ; this will evaluate the program in a different way.”

The profiles will also include Fast Facts which will provide demographic and other relevant information pertaining to the school. District Fast Facts will include items such as district enrollment, amount of schools, average years of experience, and geographic size of district.

This process is scheduled to go live on Monday, Sept. 30.