In looking at ways to create a more holistic school evaluation tool, the Pennsylvania Department of Education conducted dozens of feedback sessions to solicit recommendations from more than 1,000 stakeholders around a new measure.
The Future Ready PA Index will serve as Pennsylvania’s one-stop location for comprehensive information about school success, and will use a dashboard model to highlight how schools are performing and making progress on multiple indicators.
The dashboard approach to school reporting:
- Increases emphasis on student growth measures, which incentivizes a focus on all learners and is less sensitive to demographic variables.
- Measures English language acquisition among English Language Learners (ELL) students, not simply performance on a test of grade level English Language Arts (ELA) standards.
- Incentivizes career awareness instruction beginning at the elementary level.
- Addresses the issue of unequal weighting of content areas in the current School Performance Profile (SPP).
- Provides indicators of student success after graduation.
- Increases the emphasis on student access to course offerings such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), college credit, and Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study.
- Allows Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to include locally-selected reading assessments (Grade 3) and math assessments (Grade 7) as additional snapshots of student progress.
- Incentivizes schools to offer career pathways that culminate with high value, industry recognized credentials.
* Content courtesy of PA Department of Education
Students in the District take Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) English Language Arts and Mathematics exams in grades 3-8. PSSA Science exams are administered in grades 4 and 8. Students take Keystone exams after completing Algebra I, Biology, and English Composition.
The PSSA testing window is usually in April while Keystone testing takes place in January and May.
- District Protocol for Parents Reviewing State Assessments
- Keystone Exam Parent Signature Page
- Parental Request for Exclusion from State Assessment
The Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) is a biannual survey of students in grades 6,8,10, and 12. L-S, however, chooses to extend it to all students in grades 6-12. The survey is used to determine knowledge, attitudes and behavior toward problem behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, smoking, internet safety, texting while driving, and more. It is administered at school and is both voluntary and completely anonymous. PAYS is a primary tool in Pennsylvania’s prevention approach for public health concerns. Results allow schools and communities to address root causes of problems rather than only the symptoms, such as poor grades and attendance. Numerous research studies have shown this approach to be the most effective in helping youth develop into healthy, productive members of society.