Commonly Asked Questions

  • Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about the School Performance Profile.

    Q. What will the School Performance Profile show?

    A. Each profile will include fast facts about a school along with data detailing students’ performance and academic progress as measured by standardized tests, and many other indicators. In addition, each school will be assigned an academic score.

    Q. What does the academic score assigned to each school represent?

    A. The academic score represents how a school building performed on a number of different indicators that include standardized test results, academic growth, and other measures such as attendance rates and graduation rates.

    Q. Will each DISTRICT receive an academic score?

    A. Districts, as a whole, will not be graded. 

    Q. Who does the scoring and how are scores determined?

    A. The state Department of Education is the grader. It uses a 100-point scale that breaks down this way:

    • 40 percent based on percentages of students who scored at or above grade level on standardized tests;

    • 10 percent on a school’s progress in closing the achievement gap between white and historically under-performing groups (poor, minority, non-English speaking, and special needs students).

    • 40 percent on academic growth as determined by the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System, which tracks academic progress of groups of students from year to year in tested subjects.

    • 10 percent on other academic indicators that assess factors that contribute to student achievement such as graduation rate, grade promotion rate, attendance rate, among others.

    Schools also can get extra credit for high-level performance on state and industry assessments as well as the percentage of students earning scores on Advanced Placement tests that qualify for college credit.

    Q. Why did the state make the switch from the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report to these profiles?

    A. AYP reports were required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The state obtained a waiver from that law’s requirements to allow for this type of accountability system. The new School Performance Profile not only provides the public with information about their local school’s performance but in future years, it also will be used in evaluating teacher and principal performance. The PA Department of Education has said that it also hopes the Profile will better identify areas where some strengthening of curriculum or instruction may be needed.