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Corrected performance profiles provided for Pennsylvania schools

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By Megan Harris
Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

The state released the last batch of school performance profiles on Wednesday, finally giving parents and students a complete look at scores from more than 620 schools after a botched rollout two months ago.

Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq initially delayed the debut of the state's reporting website — paschoolperformance.org — because 20 percent of the state's 3,000 schools complained that data were incorrect or incomplete and could reflect poorly on students and the schools they attend.

School leaders asked the department to suppress some inaccurate data in the first version of the performance profiles released in October.

Educators and state officials blamed the newly adopted Keystone Exam taken in early 2013 for the incorrect information.

Thousands of students, proctors and administrators statewide failed to check the correct box indicating whether a student took the test for course credit or to meet federal requirements. Dumaresq said at the time the state shared the blame for those errors by failing to explain clearly how to fill out test forms.

“Today's update completes the School Performance Profile for the 2012-13 school year,” Dumaresq said in a statement. “Students, parents, educators and the general public can now view academic performance of all Pennsylvania public schools as well as compare results to neighboring schools and schools across the state.”

The results show 2,181, or nearly 73 percent, of public schools received a 70 or higher on a 100-point scale.

School Performance Profiles, the model approved to replace Adequate Yearly Progress goals mandated by No Child Left Behind, were delayed twice as state officials struggled to make corrections and verify basic information such as enrollment tallies and square footage in school buildings.

Scores incorporate the results of statewide assessments, student academic growth from year to year, graduation rates, attendance and performance rates, and the academic progress of historically underperforming students such as English language learners and those from low-income households.

Scoring among the highest regionally were Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, North Allegheny, Moon Area, Mars Area, Peters Township, Fox Chapel and West Allegheny school districts, all earning marks at or above 95.5.

The lowest scorers, which ranged from 22 to 45 points, are from Wilkinsburg School District, Academy Charter School, Career Connections Charter High School, Pennsylvania Learners Online Regional Cyber Charter School and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Among Pittsburgh Public, nine K-5 schools received a score of 70 percent or higher, seven earned a score between 60 to 69 percent, and six scored below 60. Five K-8 and 6-8 schools earned 70 or above. Seven earned a score between 60 and 69 percent, and seven were below 60.

The district's 6-12 and 9-12 scores, first released this week, had four schools with a score of 70 percent or higher. The remaining five schools received a score below 60 percent.

“These results show what we have always known,” Superintendent Linda Lane said in a statement. “We have great variation in performance across our schools. This information provides all an insight into the individual needs of each of our schools.”

To date, more than 168,000 users have registered to access the state site with a total of more than 34.8 million visits.

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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