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School Performance Profile

 

Dear Parents and Community,
 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education released its School Performance Profiles (SPP) today, a rather involved rating system which contains formulas that have changed annually.  The SPP calculations can be challenging to interpret and confusing to communicate.

 

Similar to many of the top performing school districts in the state, Owen J. Roberts experienced fluctuations in our scores this year.  We are extremely confident and proud of the daily teaching and learning that occurs in our schools.  It is frustrating that the SPP formulas have continually changed and components have been added over the past four years.  Further, in grades 3-8, the PSSA assessment has changed making it more difficult to compare annual SPP scores. 

 

The Department of Education released scores two weeks ago for districts to preview.  We uncovered numerous errors with our data along with many school districts.  Now that the data has been released again, the scores appear to be accurate but should not substantiate what is inherently a flawed system of evaluation.

 

The SPP scores are used to evaluate teachers and administrators, as required by the Department of Education.  Each public school in the state is given a score on a 100 point system based on criteria such as:

  • Standardized test results on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and Keystone Exams
  • Attendance rates
  • Ability to close the achievement gap between children identified as “historically underperforming,” (e.g. low income, non-English speaking, special needs students) and children not categorized as “historically underperforming,”
  • Graduation rates
  • SAT and ACT data
  • Growth from year to year on standardized tests

A number of factors can impact the SPP, including:

  • Last year the Department of Education changed the PSSA in grades 3-8 to a more difficult test aligned to PA Common Core Standards and students scored significantly lower across the state on those exams.  As a result, the Department of Education did not release SPP scores for the 2014-15 year for K-8 schools. New baseline data had to be established in order to calculate achievement gap gains.
  • The number of families who chose to opt-out their children from taking PSSA exams increased.  This had an impact on our Middle School SPP.   
  • In three of our elementary schools (West Vincent, East Vincent, and French Creek), students excelled in their science achievement earning above 90% proficient and advanced.  However, their PSSA scores were minimally lower than the previous year which cause the SPP score to drop.  What is more frustrating is West Vincent lost SPP points because their science achievement dropped from 96% to 95% in consecutive years with two different cohorts of students.  This simply does not make sense. 

Please know that we are not afraid of accountability.  Our tests scores continue to be competitive within the region.  We continue to demonstrate through a variety of measures such as local and state assessment scores, SAT scores, Advanced Placement testing, and college placements that we are an excellent school district.  We will continue to offer a comprehensive learning environment that fosters problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, community involvement, technical education, and social and academic success.  Obviously, these learning opportunities are more difficult to quantify in an SPP score but are no less important to the development of the whole child.   Regardless of how the state decides to evaluate our schools, we will continue to provide quality instructional opportunities for all.

 

What follows is a chart showing this year’s SPP scores. Thank you for your continued support of our school district.

 

Sincerely,

Michael L. Christian, Superintendent of Schools

 

School

SPP 2013-14

(previous PSSA test)

SPP 2014-15

SPP 2015-16

(new PSSA test)

 

 

 

 

East Coventry

87.3

No SPP

83.1

East Vincent

86.5

No SPP

87.8

French Creek

90.4

No SPP

80.6

North Coventry

80.5

No SPP

93.9

West Vincent

92.6

No SPP

82.8

 

 

 

 

Middle School

90.1

No SPP

69.1

 

 

 

 

High School

87.0

84.5

87.1

 

 

 

 




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