Published Online: January 3, 2006

Pennsylvania's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 3,189
Public school teachers 119,889
Pre-K-12 students 1,821,146
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $16.3 billion
Minority students 23.7%
Children in poverty 17%
Students with disabilities 13.9%
English-language learners 0%

Summary of Grades

Pennsylvania scores at or above average in two of the four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

The state receives an average grade for standards and accountability. Pennsylvania earns full credit for its academic standards, which have been rated clear, specific, and grounded in content in the four core subjects by the American Federation of Teachers. But the high marks are counterbalanced by a weak showing on the assessment and school accountability indicators.

Pennsylvania posts its highest grade in teacher quality. This strong showing stems, in part, from its policies on teacher assessment and accountability. Prospective teachers must pass a comprehensive battery of tests to receive an initial license, while veteran teachers must undergo classroom observations for advanced certification.

The state scores below average on measures of school climate. Pennsylvania lacks regulations related to school bullying and does not finance programs to reduce bullying or harassment. However, the state performs well on indicators of student engagement and receives a relatively high rating for the strength of its charter school law from the Center for Education Reform.

In resource equity, Pennsylvania again scores below the average state. The state struggles on its wealth-neutrality score, indicating that per-pupil funding levels are considerably higher in its wealthier districts than in its poorer districts.

State Policy Report Card
Pennsylvania Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B- B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality B C+
School climate C C+
Resource equity C- C
Overall Grade C+ C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 40 40
Assessment 19.77 30
School accountability 21 30
81 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 28.53 35
Teacher assessment 28.2 30
Professional support and training 14.25 20
Accountability for teacher quality 13.65 15
85 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 14 15
School safety 12.92 20
Parent involvement 10.2 15
Choice and autonomy 16 20
Class size 8 10
School size 7.17 10
School facilities 7.5 10
76 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 24 33.3
McLoone Index 22.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
72 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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