Carlynton, Chartiers Valley officials wonder if SPP isn't flawed by Keystone scores
Officials in local school districts have elected to suppress some of the state's recently released School Performance Profile data, but see the information that has been released as a jumping-off point for improvement.
Released Oct. 4, the profiles rate schools on a scale from zero to 100, with schools able to score up to 107 with extra credit. Scores are determined by student attendance, graduation rates, standardized test scores and yearly academic progress.
The School Performance Profiles were approved to replace the Adequate Yearly Progress goals required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Pennsylvania received a waiver from the federal program earlier this year.
Districts leaders who thought the data might be incorrect could suppress those scores.
At Carlynton, data for the junior-senior high school was suppressed. Superintendent Gary Peiffer said the questions focused on Keystone Exam scores.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to go back and verify,” he said.
More than 40 other high schools in Allegheny County chose to suppress their scores, including Chartiers Valley, Keystone Oaks and South Fayette.
Chartiers Valley Superintendent Brian White said his district also elected to suppress data from the middle and high schools because of Keystone Exam scores.
“It didn't include all the right kids that should have been included,” he said.
He said he's not sure if the schools' scores would have been higher or lower with either version of the Keystone Exam data, but school officials did not want to release incorrect data, period.
“Everyone would like the number to be right,” he said.
Without Keystone Exam scores factored in, Chartiers Valley Middle School scored 91.7 and the high school scored 81.8 out of 100.
At Carlynton, administrators already have instituted new ways to look at school-performance data, including the new online assessments. The district has scheduled three two-hour delays for classes throughout the year to give teachers and administrators time to examine academic achievement and progress among students.
“The idea behind that was to set aside some time for teachers to be able to work in grade and subject teams to review student-performance data,” he said. “We want to be able to chart the progress between benchmark tests.”
The first two-hour delay was Oct. 1, before the performance profile data was released online but after school officials had a chance to look over it.
Peiffer said he hopes the ability to go back re-examine Keystone Exam scores will allow for a better picture of the high school's academic achievement and progress.
“This is the first year,” he said. “We're reviewing scores, looking at strengths and building on them, and seeing where we can improve. Like any time, we have to work together as an educational team to improve performance. This gives us the data points to move forward.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Megan Guza to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.