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Pennsylvania school achievement data posted online

| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 12:12 a.m.

State Education officials on Wednesday posted on the web rankings of 3,000 Pennsylvania schools, but scores gauging academic achievement and other performance measures for 573 schools were missing.

The release is part of the implementation of School Performance Profiles, which are designed to compare schools by enrollment, graduation rates, test scores and other factors. The system assigns a number grade from 1 to 100; with extra credit, the score may be as high as 107.

Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq said previously that she chose not to further delay posting incomplete data, in part, to meet federal deadlines for Title 1 funding to schools with high populations of low-income children.

Dumaresq blamed earlier delays on discrepancies in how educators administered Keystone Exams. Superintendents, including dozens in Western Pennsylvania, asked the state to withhold data from the public until the information is corrected.

James Fogerty, communications director for A Plus Schools, a watchdog group for Pittsburgh Public Schools, said the organization will delay its annual report until the state updates school scores in mid-December.

“We've been talking about this internally a lot lately,” he said. “It just doesn't make sense to roll out a report based on incomplete data.”

The state initially suppressed profiles for 624 schools that indicated the state collected incomplete or inaccurate data. An additional 1,444 schools requested minor changes but allowed their profiles to be published in the initial launch.

Profiles are available online at paschoolperformance.org.

A disclaimer that greets website visitors states that flawed data on the site “will be updated as soon as possible.”

Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

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