"Communities across Pennsylvania depend on the accuracy of the data PDE provides about students and schools; there is no room for error," Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. "The Department takes issues like these very seriously and launched an aggressive response to verify and correct the data, to maintain the credibility of the department with the people we serve."
The issue was discovered by a school district that noticed a discrepancy in one of its growth measures. SAS-EVAAS, the Department's contractor for PA Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS) growth measures, investigated the issue and discovered that district- and school-level results for Keystone Exams excluded students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP). PDE was alerted to the problem late October 18. There were no changes in data for students taking the PSSA.
Although it appeared that the scope of the data issue was limited, the Department suppressed the data for all LEAs, to perform a comprehensive review and ensure the accuracy of all data. In total, about 2,900 schools received building level scores this year, and 625 schools had a change from the score posted on October 13.
Upon learning of the data issue, staff from PDE and SAS-EVAAS worked to verify all data provided by SAS and to run parallel calculations to ensure the integrity of the final SPP scores. Last week, the Department held a series of meetings with superintendents, charter school CEOs, and the directors of career and technical centers and intermediate units to share background on the data issue.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Reigelman, 717.783.9802
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education