State’s Department of Education Launches New School Assessment Site

Image via Emma Lee, WHYY.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has launched a new website to collect statistics on the state’s public and charter schools for parents, teachers, and students, writes Katie Meyer for 90.5 WESA.

The new site foregoes ranking schools against one another, a feature of the old school assessment index. Instead, state officials have been working on the Future Ready PA Index for more than a year to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

The major change is that there is no longer an overall grade for schools. According to Deputy Education Secretary Matt Stem, the goal of the new approach is to offer a better picture by measuring other factors in addition to test scores.

Among the new criteria is proficiency in different subject areas and career readiness.

“What we hope will happen,” said Stem, “is that everyone who goes onto the website is going to have a much better understanding of what’s happening with students and learning at a given school than in the past.”

He said that more information will become available over the following weeks, when schools will be labeled as low-performing, along with details on the process to improve them.

Read more about the new website at 90.5 WESA here.

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