Academic Performance Score Elements
Indicators of Academic Achievement (40%1)
The first four data elements are commonly used when looking at school performance – based on PSSA/Keystone Exam scores and the percent proficient or advanced for each. Typically, the tested content areas are addressed for all students. A middle school has all of these tested areas. If, for example, there is no science data, science is nulled out and the total points available is reduced accordingly. The elements that contribute to the indicators of academic achievement are outlined below.
Closing the Achievement Gap (5% for All Students and 5% for Historically Underperforming Students)
- PSSA/Keystone Exam Achievement – The first four indicators focus on the PSSA/Keystone Exams and the percent of students who scored Proficient or Advanced. This element includes PSSA and PASA earned scores (or Keystone Exams as applicable) for students enrolled for a full academic year.
- Industry Standards-Based Competency Assessments – NOCTI and NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) – Both of these tests are related to career readiness. The scores are the percent of students competent or advanced; student scores are attributed to the CTC if it is a full-time (comprehensive) school. Otherwise, the scores are attributed to the home school. If programs are offered within the district as well, those scores are also attributed to the home school.
- Grade 3 Reading PSSA – Research shows that grade 3 is strong predictor of future success. Hence, this graded subject receives additional emphasis.
- SAT/ACT College Ready Benchmark — Both participation and performance are the key indicators of SAT/ACT. For SAT, the percent of the grade 12 cohort earning a total score of 1550 or higher and/or scoring 22 or higher on the ACT define the benchmark. Research shows that students scoring 1550 or higher on the SAT or 22 or higher on the ACT have a high likelihood of success in their freshman year in college. This is based upon the number of students in the grade 12 cohort – not the number of tests taken. It does not matter when students take the test – the highest total score is used. PDE’s current benchmark is 40% of students in the grade 12 cohort will have earned a score of 1550 (SAT) or 22 (ACT). If the school meets the 40% benchmark, then it receives maximum score (100) for this performance measure (30% would receive a score of 75, etc.). This score is scaled proportionately using a multiplier of 2.5 but cannot exceed 100.
Closing the Achievement Gap (CAG) is represented by two categories:
- Closing the Achievement Gap – All Students (uses earned scores)
- Closing the Achievement Gap – Historically Underperforming Students (uses earned scores) - This category is a paradigm shift in terms of defining the performance of individual subgroups. This new group now represents collectively those students who have historically underperformed on the PSSA.
Currently, there are no performance measures in this example because 2012-13 is the baseline year - the year the achievement gap is established. Progress in closing this gap will be measured in the years subsequent to the established baseline year. Therefore 2013-2014 is the first year that CAG scores will be reported.
Indicators of Academic Growth – PVAAS (40%)
The PVAAS Average Growth Index (AGI) is used as the Indicator of Academic Growth. The PVAAS AGI is the growth measure (growth measure is the change of the achievement level for a group of students across grades) divided by the standard error (standard error is the level of evidence one has around a particular measure in relationship to the amount of growth made with a group of students). Details on PVAAS growth measures can be found on the PVAAS website at https://pvaas.sas.com
The PVAAS AGI is converted to a scale ranging from 50 to 100. If the PVAAS AGI for a school is a zero, that reflects evidence of a year’s growth and the school score is 75 - which is average.
- If the PVAAS AGI is 3 or higher, the school score is 100.
- If the PVAAS AGI is -3 or lower, the school score is 50.
- A score can be no lower than 50 because while the confidence in the academic growth of student achievement has diminished, one cannot conclude that students did not learn anything; hence, the minimum score of 50.
Scores are scaled proportionally between the AGI range of -3 to +3.
Other Academic Indicators (10%)
- Cohort Graduation Rate - The cohort graduation rate is used for a secondary school with a graduating class. (Uses previous year data.) Graduation rate is not applicable for a middle school or for any school with a grade range that does not have a graduating class.
- Promotion Rate – This is used if graduation rate does not apply. (Uses previous year data.) Due to data collection issues, promotion rate is nulled out for this year’s SPP.
- Attendance Rate - This is applicable for all schools. (Uses previous year data.)
- Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate (IB) or College Credit programs will be measured in the following manner:
- If the school offers any combination of college credit, AP, or IB courses covering the 4 core academic areas (Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies), it is awarded maximum points. A minimum of one course in each of the three core areas would be 75 points, two courses in each core area 50 points, etc.).
Extra Credit for Advanced Achievement (Up to 7 percentage points)
- PSAT/PLAN Participation — Research shows that students who take PSAT/PLAN score higher on SAT/ACT than those who do not. This indicator measures the percent of the grade 12 cohort who took the PSAT or PLAN at some point in their school experience. The current benchmark is that 60 percent of students will have taken the PSAT or PLAN. If the school meets the 60% benchmark, then it receives maximum score (100) for this performance measure (30% would receive a score of 50, etc.). The score is scaled proportionally using a multiplier of 1.6667 but cannot exceed 100.
- Schools can earn additional points beyond its calculated score based upon the percent of students scoring “Advanced” on the PSSA and/or the Industry Standards-Based Competency Assessments. For example, if a school has 40 percent of its students Advanced in math, the school would get .4 additional credit added to its calculated score (a 1% factor). The calculated score is the earned points divided by total possible points. The final score for a school is the credit for advanced achievement added to the calculated score.
- Schools may earn up to 2 percentage points for performance measure associated with the number of students in the 12th grade cohort who score 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam during high school. Both participation and performance are key indicators of AP. A student scoring 3 or higher on more than one exam is only counted as one student achieving the benchmark. PDE’s current benchmark is 40% of students in the grade 12 cohort will have earned a score of 3 or higher. If the school meets the 40% benchmark, then it receives maximum score (100) for this performance measure (30% would receive a score of 75, etc.). This score is scaled proportionately using a multiplier of 2.5 but cannot exceed 100. The performance measure is then multiplied by 2% to determine the extra credit. This factor applies to any AP Exam – regardless of content area.