February 10, 2016 |
The University of Delaware will allow instate applicants to choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores, becoming the latest school to decide that requiring high test scores may deter otherwise excellent students. The university faculty senate Monday approved a four-year pilot program for students beginning in fall 2017. Applicants can still submit test scores for consideration, and all students will be required to submit test scores after they are accepted so the university can evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program.
October 31, 2015 |
For the first time since testing began 25 years ago, the latest results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests show a drop in math scores. And the tests also contained more bad news for the nation's schoolchildren. Although some results in Pennsylvania and New Jersey fell in 2015 compared with 2013, they were above national averages in what is known as "the nation's report card. " The national assessment is given to thousands of randomly selected fourth- and eighth-grade students, takes only about an hour to complete, and, unlike other standardized tests, involves no preparation.
October 14, 2015 |
NOT ALL charter schools are rated in the 2013-14 School Progress Report. Charter schools aren't required to give students' information to the district for the SPR. Schools that did not submit the requested data to the district or submitted it too late to be included are not included in the report. About 62 of the 84 charters in operation when the data were collected cooperated with the district and are ranked in the SPR. The charter office expects that more charter schools, about 90 percent of them, will participate in the 2014 - 2015 progress report.
October 1, 2015 |
Marcie Lichtman says her 14-year-old daughter had always scored in the "advanced" range on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests, administered to third through eighth graders. But when last year's scores in English/Language Arts and math arrived in the mail last week, the now-ninth grader was surprised to see she scored only "proficient. " "I needed to administer a little first aid to her self-esteem by showing her an article and video explaining what is going on," said Lichtman, who lives in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia.
August 12, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Teachers are right, says Pennsylvania's education secretary, Pedro Rivera - the goalposts keep moving, and it's not fair to them. Based on standards that in some cases had students learning material that was a full year ahead of where they had been previously, state exams got tougher amid a period of steep decline in state aid. Scores, which have yet to be released publicly, dropped sharply, he said. And teachers will now be judged in part on student scores. In an interview late last week in Harrisburg, Rivera, a former Philadelphia teacher, principal, and union official who is now the state's top educator, said it brought to mind a "Peanuts" character.
February 9, 2015 |
With lagging student test scores and only about 120 students in grades K-4, Spring City Elementary School three years ago looked more like a candidate for closure than for an extreme makeover. But with the boldness of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, the Spring-Ford Area School District gambled on a radically different approach to fixing the struggling school near the border of Montgomery and Chester Counties. It spent roughly $300,000 over three years to arm students and their classrooms - even kindergartners - with the latest desktops, iPads, Apple TVs, and smartboards.
September 26, 2014 |
The results of the Philadelphia School District's 2014 state exams are in, and overall, city students' performance dipped slightly from the previous year. Fewer than half of all students met state standards, and both reading and math scores dropped. In reading, 42 percent of students met the bar set on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, down from 42.3 percent last year. In math, 45.2 percent met standards, down from 46.9 percent in 2013. "No one is satisfied with these results," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Wednesday.
September 11, 2014 |
Rowan University will offer certain applicants this year the option of submitting an additional essay in lieu of SAT or ACT scores, joining a slew of schools that have eliminated or reduced standardized-test requirements for admission. The South Jersey university tested a "test-optional" program for performing-arts applicants last year. The success of that program has led to wider implementation: Students with 3.5 grade-point averages on a 4.0 high school scale will be eligible. A broad swath of students must still submit SAT or ACT scores, including applicants to the engineering school, applicants qualifying for the state Educational Opportunity Fund, home-schooled students, international students, and candidates for academic merit scholarships.
July 30, 2014 |
In an effort to cultivate talented students who don't test well, Temple University says it will become the first national public research university in the Northeast to make standardized test scores optional for admission. The university expects as many as 150 to 200 students who likely would not have been accepted because of low SAT and ACT scores, but who exhibit other promising attributes, will be admitted for fall 2015. Many of them could come from the Philadelphia School District.
May 10, 2014
Arguably, it has never been tougher to be a teacher in America - especially in poor, urban, crime-infested neighborhoods such as Philadelphia's Hunting Park, where too many children find it hard to focus their minds on learning. Education is the most valuable commodity children from such environments can obtain. They should have the very best teachers. Too frequently, though, they not only lack fine educators; they are subjected to pedagogical abuse. It's abuse when a teacher, prodded by a principal, cavalierly changes or provides the answers to a test rather than put forth the effort required to teach what the child needs to learn.