How is Your Public School Performing?

The Pennsylvania School Performance Profile launched today, but will it deliver the “accountability system” Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq promised in a briefing earlier this month?

Created through a federal waiver from the mandates of No Child Left Behind, this web-based resource aims to measure proficiency and growth of Pennsylvania schools using self-reported data from each district and school. PDE hopes it will give parents and taxpayers a clearer picture of school performance than the current standard of Adequate Yearly Progress.

A school receives a score based upon raw student performance (as measured by all four PSSA tests and Keystone Exams), ability to close the achievement gap amongst demographic groups, academic growth of students from year to year, and other factors. Based on these scores schools can be designated “Title 1 schools,” with “priority schools” (those scoring the lowest 15 percent) requiring department intervention.

Dumaresq stressed the new system’s ability to drive specific improvements. The system is also supposed to be a tool for the public. But the question remains: will this information empower parents and enhance students’ opportunities?

The failure of some schools—through test scores, graduation rates, and violence—has been obvious for years, and “intervention” in the form of increased funding has not improved matters.

The true goal of the School Performance Profile is not just to grade schools, but to provide information parents, educators and lawmakers can access and use to improve schools and choose the best education options for students.

You can view the School Performance Profile now—some schools do not yet have performance data available yet—and tell us what you think.

PA School Accountability Profile Screenshot