Education officials unveiled a new grading system for Pennsylvania’s public schools last week that they described as a tool for parents, administrators, and the public to monitor and improve student achievement.
School Performance Profiles will offer academic ratings for each building based on a 100-point scale. Scores for all 3,200 traditional, charter, cyber, and technical schools in the state will be available online beginning Sept. 30.
Acting state education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq offered a preview of the rating system at a news conference and explained in detail how the figures are weighted and calculated. Buildings that score above 70 are considered to be satisfactory.
The new profiles replace the previous standard—known as AYP, or adequate yearly progress—which was based solely on student math and reading scores. Pennsylvania is no longer required to use that benchmark since receiving a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Schools are now judged on data including attendance, participation in standardized testing, graduation rates, and closing achievement gaps.
A version of this article appeared in the September 25, 2013 edition of Education Week as Pa. Officials Institute New School Grading