2010 Keystone Achievement Awards Recognize Pennsylvania Schools for Academic Achievement

Dec 21, 2010, 15:59 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Education

More than 2,100 Schools Reach Academic Targets for Two Consecutive Years

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 2,100 Pennsylvania schools are being honored with Keystone Achievement Awards for demonstrating sustained academic achievement over two school years, acting Education Secretary Thomas E. Gluck said today.

"Just as schools proudly display trophies for athletic and extracurricular accomplishments, displaying a Keystone Achievement Award is a way to acknowledge the school's academic accomplishments," Gluck said.  "These awards reinforce the hard work our schools are doing and the success their students are achieving. Keystones reflect the commitment of students, families, teachers and the entire education community."

This year's Keystone Achievement Awards are given to public schools that achieved Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years. AYP is determined, in part, by a school's performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, the standardized test given annually to students in grades 3-8 and 11.

Each school earning a Keystone Achievement Award receives a large, keystone-shaped placard for display at the school.

"A Keystone Achievement Award represents hard work and dedication of students, parents, teachers and administrators," Gluck said. "Recipients of these awards can proudly display their placards as evidence of academic achievement and a commitment to excellence."

Student achievement in Pennsylvania rose for the eighth consecutive year in Pennsylvania, according to PSSA results released in September. Students posted record gains in reading and math scores, with a record number of students performing at grade level in reading and math on the state's tests.

Overall, three quarters of Pennsylvania students are now achieving at grade level, and the smallest percentage of students ever scored at the lowest level since the inception of PSSA testing.

Statewide, 2,129 schools in Pennsylvania are receiving a Keystone Award for 2009-2010. Of them, 65 are charter schools.

A total of 1,583 schools have received a Keystone Award for two consecutive years – four years of meeting AYP -- and 1,003 schools have received a Keystone Award every year since the program began in 2003.

In all, 472 school districts, representing 94 percent of Pennsylvania's districts, are receiving at least one Keystone Achievement Award this year.

Media contact: Steve Weitzman, 717-783-9802

Editor's Note:  The list of Keystone Award winners may be found on the Department of Education web site here, or by visiting www.pde.state.pa.us, choosing "Newsroom," and then, "Education Fast Facts."

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education



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