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 proposed 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 proposed 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 ELL students, not simply performance on a test of grade level ELA standards.
- Incentivizes career awareness instruction beginning at the elementary level.
- Addresses the issue of unequal weighting of content areas in the current SPP.
- Provides indicators of student success after graduation.
- Increases the emphasis on student access to course offerings such as AP, IB, college credit, and CTE programs of study.
- Allows 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.
- Recognizes schools for reducing the percent of students scoring at the Below Basic level.
What are people saying about the Future Ready PA Index?
“While standardized tests are
important tools, they do not provide a comprehensive measure of the
effectiveness of our students who are so much more than the results of a
standardized test. We believe that a more comprehensive assessment of students'
college and career readiness constitutes a more productive measurement of
school accountability.” - Gary Cooper, Acting Superintendent of the Allentown
“Focusing on the standardized assessment scores as a major
component of the SPP never made much sense. There are so many elements that go
into not just generating opportunities for academic success, but also for
building a foundation for lifetime success for our students. Like many superintendents,
it is encouraging to hear Mr. Rivera, PDE, and the (Gov. Tom) Wolf
administration acknowledge a need to move away from emphasizing such a narrow
definition of student success.” - Michelle Saylor, Superintendent of the
Bellefonte Area School District
“It’s nice to see that the PA Future Ready Index incorporates a wider range of criteria to measure school performance such as career awareness activities, advance placement course offerings and dual enrollment opportunities with higher ed institutions. State test results are just part of the picture when looking at the sum and substance of student knowledge.” - Richard Sniscak, Superintendent of the Parkland School District