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Department of Education Launches New School Evaluation Tool
>Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today launched the Future Ready PA Index, the Wolf Administration’s new public-facing, one-stop location for comprehensive information and data on student and school success.
The tool was developed with input from thousands of stakeholders.
“Parents, educators and communities have said we need a better way to evaluate our schools with a broader set of measurements,” said Governor Wolf. “The Future Ready PA Index recognizes that students – and the schools that teach them – are more than just standardized tests.
“It measures schools in three main categories: the academic performance of students; if student progress is on track; and whether students graduate ready for college or to start a career and succeed.”
Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera said the index uses a dashboard approach to present school-level data and provides parents with a more comprehensive look at how Pennsylvania schools are educating all students.
“We wanted a tool that is easy for parents to use and understand,” he said. “Parents can search by district, school name, career and technical center and location. They can look at data for one school at a time or use the comparison feature, which allows them to view data side by side for up to eight schools.
“The dashboard also illustrates progress in the three main categories by student group – including economically disadvantaged students, English Learners, students receiving special education services, and racial and ethnic groups,” he added. “This allows parents and their communities to better understand student performance among the different groups.”
A color-coded system illustrates student and school progress in the three main measurement categories.
State Assessment measurements demonstrate student performance on the PSSA and Keystone Exam standardized tests. This also includes data from the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS), which represents the academic growth of students.
On-Track measurements show regular attendance and indicate progress in reading and math and in English Language proficiency.
College and Career-Ready measurements illustrate how well students are being prepared for post-secondary success by showing access to rigorous courses, such as Advanced Placement, and by identifying industry-based credentials earned by students. It also includes, for the first time, data on college enrollment, military enlistment and workforce participation.
“The Future Ready PA Index provides a more holistic picture of school performance,” said Secretary Rivera. “It is the result of discussions with thousands of educators, parents, advocates, policymakers and business leaders across Pennsylvania to determine how communities should evaluate schools.”
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