NANTICOKE, Pa., Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera made a visit to the Greater Nanticoke Area School District today to speak with local leaders, district administrators, students, and teachers about the state's investments in education under the Wolf Administration, as well as proposed changes to the School Performance Profile (SPP).
"Governor Wolf has made a historic investment in education – more than $640 million additional funds over two years," said Secretary Rivera. "The state investment is being directed to classrooms around Pennsylvania to implement programs from pre-kindergarten to postsecondary that will positively impact student achievement."
During the roundtable discussion at the Greater Nanticoke Area Senior High School, attendees discussed the Wolf Administration's educational priorities, including investing in students and schools, and proposing a more holistic system of measurement to replace the SPP. The new measure would be called the Future Ready PA Index.
"Each 'Schools That Teach' visit provides me with another perspective on how Pennsylvania schools and communities are preparing students for postsecondary success," Rivera said. "The input the Department gathers from around the state helps us develop smart education policy that best serves students.
"These visits also allow me to hear about schools' priorities and needs, and to see how they are reinvesting in classrooms with the additional funding secured by Governor Wolf and the legislature. These discussions are critical to improving education for every student across the state regardless of zip code."
Under the direction of the Wolf Administration, the Department of Education conducted 30 feedback sessions dedicated exclusively to exploring ideas to modify the SPP. The meetings brought together a wide variety of stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, parents, students, policy makers, advocates, industry and higher education leaders to ensure a broad cross section of perspectives were considered.
The existing SPP, which was first used in 2013, is heavily reliant on standardized test scores, which only mark student performance at a single point in time during the school year.
PDE's recommendations for the Future Ready PA Index retain several of the indicators from the current SPP; however the weighting of those indicators would be modified.
"Schools and communities deserve to have a measure that accurately and fairly reflects the work schools are doing to prepare our students for future success," Rivera said. "As we continue to engage stakeholders, we expect to develop a system that considers multiple factors, rather than point-in-time measures, to gauge academic and emotional growth in Pennsylvania's students."
To date, the Schools That Teach tour has made stops at more than three dozen schools across Pennsylvania. A Google Map of all tour stops is available here.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education