Principals honored for making progress

Posted: August 19, 2011

PRINCIPALS of 110 Philadelphia schools that achieved Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, a standard set by the federal No Child Left Behind law, were honored yesterday at a conference on school leadership.

The schools made gains on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in reading and math, given annually to students in grades 3 through 8 and 11.

After the ceremony, in which most principals received a banner to hang in their schools, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said that she wasn't concerned about a forensics report commissioned by the state Education Department that found as many as 38 schools with questionable test scores.

The district's own accountability office later said that only 13 schools needed further investigation.

Yesterday, Ackerman said that only 12 schools' scores were in doubt.

"We have 264 schools, and even if there were problems at the 12, it wouldn't affect or impact the achievement we have made," she said.

The problems on the tests were about "eraser marks," she said.

"It's really unfair to teachers," she added. "I believe in teachers. I refuse to believe they aren't honest teachers who serve with integrity."

- Valerie Russ

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