"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." ~Benjamin Franklin
School Improvement Plans
School Improvement Plans are used as the means of determining how schools and districts will plan to ensure that students reach proficiency and beyond. The process focuses district improvement efforts on student needs by formulating strategies and steps that a school will utilize to raise student achievement. A plan may involve new programs, more assistance for students, new curricula and/or teacher training. At the beginning of each school year, improvement plans are evaluated and revised.
PVAAS is an acronym which stands for Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System. This system tracks the progress of students over time to estimate their growth during a year of schooling. The results allow school districts to measure the impact of educational practices, classroom curricula, instructional methods, and professional development on student achievement.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has made significant changes in how student achievement is being reported and calculated for schools and districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile. This public site (http://www.paschoolperformance.org) provides an academic performance score for public schools in the state. This performance score is designed with several purposes in mind:
to inform the public of school performance
to provide a building level score for educators as part of their evaluation system
to allow the public to compare schools across the state
to give schools a methodology to analyze their strengths and needs
While public schools across the state have previously received designations under No Child Left Behind (e.g., Made Adequate Yearly Progress, Making Progress,Warning, School Improvement, Corrective Action), schools will now receive an academic performance score based upon many data points. Test scores, progress in closing achievement gaps, and degree of student growth over time are factored into the scoring while other identifiers of high achieving schools are also considered: graduation, promotion, and attendance rates as well as evidence of offering rigorous courses factor into the calculation.
In addition to the scoring aspect of the site, the public can compare schools within and across the state. For schools, the site also offers supports for schools to consider as they identify needs in the academic profile.