January 07, 2016
The School District of Philadelphia released on Thursday its 2014-15 School Progress Report, evaluations designed to measure the performance growth of each of the city's public schools, including charters.
Julia R. Masterman Middle School scored the best of any school, earning an 84 percent overall score. It was the only middle school to receive a "model" performance status, one of four evaluation tiers designated by the district. Only eight city schools achieved model status.
Schools are scored based on standardized test performance, testing gains, student and parent engagement and, among high schools, college and career preparation. Schools are placed in one of four performance tiers – "model," "reinforce," "watch" or "intervene" – based on their scores.
More than 80 percent of the 317 city schools received either an intervene or watch designation, meaning their overall score fell below 50 percent. A total of 113 schools (36 percent) received intervene status while 142 schools (45 percent) scored in the watch tier.
Another 54 schools (17 percent) achieved a reinforce tier for scoring between 50 and 74 percent.
One K-2 elementary school – Clara Barton Elementary School in Feltonville – did not receive a ranking because of insufficient data.
This marked the third year the district has released its School Progress Report, which is used to guide decisions on additional school support, resources, autonomy and interventions.
Participation among charter schools is optional, but 90 percent took part in the study released Thursday.
Superintendent William Hite said the report indicates a need for continued investment in public education, particularly in the areas of early literacy and college preparedness.
“The (School Progress Report) illustrates school successes and challenges with the broader goal of ensuring that every student has a great school close to where they live," Hite said in a statement. “We simply do not have all of the resources that our schools need to dramatically improve, which is reinforcing a system of great schools for some, but not nearly enough for all – or even most.”
According to data in the 2013-2014 School Progress Report, fewer Philadelphia schools – 76 percent of the 291 schools – ranked in either the intervene or watch tiers. Last year, 95 schools (33 percent) fell in the intervene category and 124 schools (43 percent) were on the watch list.
About 22 percent – or 63 city schools – ranked in the reinforce tier, and 3 percent – or nine schools – were in the top model tier.
Clara Barton again was not included in last year's study, nor was The Workshop School in the Walnut Hill section of West Philly.
In the more recent report, Central High School was the best scoring high school in the city, receiving an 83 percent overall score. Central and Franklin Towne Charter High School in Bridesburg were the only two high schools to achieve the city's "model" performance designation.
Among K-8 elementary schools, Penn Alexander School scored the best with an 83 percent overall score. Folk-Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School, General George A. McCall School, Philadelphia Academy Charter School and Joseph Greenberg School joined Penn Alexander in achieving "model" status.
Anne Frank School was the highest-ranking traditional elementary school. Its 74 percent overall score placed it in the "reinforce" designation, the second-highest performance tier.
The school progress reports are designed to differ from the state's School Performance Profile by placing greater weight on student growth than absolute achievement, expanding domains and metrics used by the state, and including city and peer rankings.
Peer rankings are determined by comparing schools with similar grade configurations and student demographics.
The full scores can be found by searching the four types of schools and downloading the PDFs using the links below to the School District of Philadelphia's website. The results are alphabetized.