Understanding Closing the Achievement GapThe Academic Performance Score for a school is based upon indicators that define a high performing school. Many data elements contribute to the academic score – one of which is Closing the Achievement Gap. Closing the Achievement Gap in the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile is measured for two groups of students:
- All Students – defined as all students enrolled for a full academic year taking the PSSA/Keystone Exam
- Historically Under performing Students – defined as a non-‐duplicated count of students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, and English Language Learners enrolled for a full academic year taking the PSSA/Keystone
meeting the definition during the reported year. For both groups of students, Closing the Achievement Gap is calculated for each of the PSSA/Keystone subjects (Mathematics/Algebra I, Reading/Literature, Writing, and Science/Biology). The achievement gap is determined by comparing the baseline percent of students who are proficient or advanced to the goal of 100% proficiency. The baseline year has been established as the 2012-‐2013 school year; thus, there will be no Closing the Achievement Gap scores for 2012 – 2013. Closing the Achievement Gap scores will be reported for the first time in 2013 – 2014. Once the achievement gap is determined, schools are measured on the success in closing that gap.
The Historically Under performing Student group earned 40% Proficient or Advanced in the baseline year.
- The benchmark for success is defined as closing one-‐half of the achievement gap over a six year period.
- This success rate is measured annually; if a school is on track or exceeding the cumulative rate needed to close the gap, a score of 100 is earned.
- If a school has closed 80% of the gap, a score of 80 is earned.
- A school not making any progress in closing the gap or even widening the gap earns a score of zero.
- Closing the gap is cumulative, i.e., if the annual goal is exceeded one year and not met the following year, the gain is calculated on a cumulative basis.
- Achievement gap = 60% (100 – 40).
- One-‐half of the achievement gap is 30%. (Closing one-‐half of the achievement gap over a six-‐year period)
- Over six years, the school must increase by 5 percentage points each year of the six-‐year period to meet the goal. (30%/6 = 5%).
- The score is scaled proportionally based upon percent of annual goal met.
- 5 percentage points or more increase (meeting or exceeding the 5% annual goal) = 100%
- 4 percentage points (meeting 80% of the annual goal) = 80%
- 3 percentage points (meeting 60% of the annual goal) = 60%
- 2 percentage points (meeting 40% of the annual goal) = 40%
- 1 percentage point (meeting 20% of the annual goal) = 20%
- No increase or decline = 0%
- The annual goal closure is cumulative, i.e., if the school improves scores by 6 percentage points in year 1 and 4 percentage points in year 2, it earns a 100% in year 1 and year 2.