Begin Main Content Area

​Annual Meaningful Differentiation

Pennsylvania’s new Federal accountability system reflects the same principle underlying the Future Ready PA Index—meaningful evaluation of school progress should consider a wide array of evidence including academic achievement, academic progress, graduation rate, English learner proficiency, and school success conditions. Pennsylvania’s ESSA State Plan replaces an accountability system that relied on a single year of data for a single measure, and instead examines multiple years of academic and non-academic evidence. Termed “Annual Meaningful Differentiation” by the Federal statute, accountability procedures will be implemented annually to provide stakeholders with important information on both whole school and student group progress; every three years, Pennsylvania will designate schools for improvement targets based on school-level (Comprehensive Support and Improvement) and student group (Additional Targeted Support and Improvement) performance.


Pennsylvania Guiding Principles

  1.  Equity: Pennsylvania's approach to Annual Meaningful Differentiation will designate and focus resources on the schools and students in greatest need of support, with particular attention to historically underserved communities.
  2. Transparency: Pennsylvania's accountability systems and school progress reporting will provide educators, parents and families, and other stakeholders with clear and meaningful reporting on both school and student group performance, as well as the ability to identify and act on opportunity gaps.
  3. Innovation: Pennsylvania will leverage the flexibility offered by ESSA to broaden conceptions of school progress to include academic growth, non-academic measures, and opportunity to learn factors.

Annual Meaningful Differentiation results in two federally-prescribed designations, made at least every three years beginning December 2018:

  1. Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI): Schools facing the most significant challenges in academic achievement, student growth, and other areas.
  2. Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (A-TSI): Schools in which performance by one or more student groups is at or below the level of the CSI schools.