The School Performance Profile: The state's failure
For botching the debut of a new accountability system replacing No Child Left Behind's Adequate Yearly Progress, Pennsylvania's Department of Education deserves both an “F” and an “incomplete.”
The new School Performance Profile website offers only partial results — and a disclaimer indicating erroneous information will be updated as soon as possible. More than 20 percent of Pennsylvania's 3,000 schools complained about incorrect or incomplete data — and the Department of Education allowed those schools to request suppression of their data until corrected.
Depending on grade level, results of Keystone Exams account for up to 90 percent of the zero-to-100 school scores that the site is to provide. Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq says the state shares blame for unclear instructions about filling out Keystone Exam forms. But Plum Superintendent Timothy Glasspool says Education officials “screwed up numbers as simple as how many kids we have in the building,” labeled schools' reports of data errors “unjustified” and “just didn't want to deal with us.”
The state has posted data for 53 of 624 schools whose figures had been suppressed and made online school comparisons possible, but until all schools' data are complete, correct and available, the website's worth will be diminished. And the site's botched launch raises serious questions about the basic acumen and critical thinking skills of Pennsylvania's top educrats. That they are in charge of educating Pennsylvania's children is worrisome indeed.
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 â 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.