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School Improvement

Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools: based on school performance that falls in the bottom five percent of all Title I buildings in a state; and

Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools: based on low performance by student subgroups
To ensure transparency, Pennsylvania proposes to employ the same methodology for both CSI and TSI identification. Schools and subgroups will be identified based on:
  • Preliminary identification based on academic achievement and academic growth, derived from multiple years of data.    
  • Final identification based on additional academic and non-academic indicators including chronic absenteeism and graduation rates, progress in moving English learners to proficiency, and college and career readiness benchmarks.
Under NCLB, struggling schools were subject to a prescribed – and escalating – set of interventions. ESSA provides states with significant new authority in the design, deployment, and evaluation of school improvement strategies. Pennsylvania is working with a diverse stakeholder group to design and validate a comprehensive “needs assessment” tool that will allow both CSI and TSI schools to identify specific challenges – academic and otherwise – confronting their students and staff. Completion of the needs assessment will provide both the school (and its LEA) as well as the PDE with specific information and analysis that can inform the selection of tailored, evidence-based strategies. PDE’s Statewide System of Support (including IUs, the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network, and other partners) will work alongside school and district staff to implement, evaluate, and refine these interventions.