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Pennsylvania's Approach to TSI Designations

TSI designations will function as an early warning system for at-risk student groups and as a signal to schools that may be at future risk for more intensive accountability cycles.  Accordingly, the cut points that drive a TSI determination are considerably more rigorous than the cut points associated with CSI determinations that relate to the lowest performing 5 percent of schools, as well as A-TSI designations that result from one or more student groups in a school performing below CSI thresholds.  Another important distinction between the cyclical (i.e., every three years) CSI and A-TSI determinations and annual TSI determinations is that TSI procedures necessarily draw on the most recent single year of performance data, while higher-stakes CSI and A-TSI procedures draw on multiple years of data from each three-year cycle.

Specifically, TSI designation will occur for a school in which one or more student groups are identified through the following process:

    1. Exhibits achievement at or below an annually determined level within one standard deviation of the statewide average achievement rate.  This annual cut score will be determined in consultation with the state's Technical Advisory Committee.
    2. Shows risk for less than expected academic growth as described in CSI designation procedures. Specifically, the lower a school's proficiency rate, the more evidence of academic growth is needed to exempt the school from further evaluation for TSI designation.
    3. Falls below statewide average performance on one or more substantially weighted academic or school quality/student success indicators.

As all of these performance levels are higher than thresholds for CSI or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement, TSI designation serves as a precursor for more intensive accountability cycles.

School Improvement Plans and Implementation

Schools designated as TSI are required to develop building level School Improvement Plans and secure local education agency (LEA) approval from the Board of School Directors or Charter School.  Unlike schools designated for CSI or A-TSI, schools designated as TSI can determine the duration of their improvement plan. 

PDE has maintained a focus on ensuring that the supports for identified schools are grounded in evidence, differentiated based on specific school needs, and deployed in a collaborative and coherent manner alongside local educators. TSI supports and activities will be supported at the LEA level. State-supported, locally-deployed TSI supports may include interdisciplinary teams of general and special education personnel to support Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and other activities—along with technical assistance provided by local intermediate units, and PaTTANs.