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NEWS
August 13, 2009 | By DAFNEY TALES, talesd@phillynews.com 215-854-5084
Convening for the first time since summer break, the School Reform Commission received preliminary data yesterday that showed what Superintendent Arlene Ackerman called the "good and the bad. " Test scores, up for the seventh straight year, rose to 52 percent performing at grade level in math and 48 percent in reading, an increase of about 3 percentage points in each category from the previous year, according to district figures released yesterday....
NEWS
May 27, 1999 | BY MARGOT A. WELCH
Before the Colorado tragedies, with education reform emphasizing the importance of measuring student achievement by test scores, most national school news focused on academic performance. Everyone agrees that the primary responsibility of schools is to teach our children, but the public is also increasingly aware of how intricately children's academic and social needs are related. The heartbreaking events at Columbine High School make this tragically clear. Education reform aimed exclusively at improving schools by raising test scores, without strengthening the human connections in kids' lives, will fail.
NEWS
June 19, 1986 | By Tim Panaccio, Special to The Inquirer
The Haverford Township School District has decided to disregard this year's California Achievement Tests. Gerald M. Hogan, supervisor of curriculum for the district, cited "serious deficiencies in the programming," and "internal inconsistencies" in scoring the exam as reasons for the district's decision not to include the test results in student files. The decision to disregard the tests was announced by Superintendent Ewald Kalmbach at Tuesday's school board work session.
NEWS
January 11, 1990 | By Don Cunningham, Special to The Inquirer
With the dismal results of the latest national education report announced a few hours earlier, Paul Kelly took his concerns about the state of American education to the Centennial school board Tuesday night. Kelly, a Warminster resident, said in light of the poor national results and lack of improvement in local test scores - which measure math and reading ability - the board should seriously reconsider increasing teachers' salaries. "The 9 mill tax increase we had last year - it has been 18 mills now in two years - and the fact that in two years there has been no improvement in the TELLS (Test of Essential Literacy and Learning Skills)
NEWS
June 21, 1987 | By Patricia Hall, Special to The Inquirer
Nearly 96 percent of the ninth graders at Northern Burlington Regional High School passed the reading portion of the New Jersey High School Proficiency Test this year, Superintendent Walter J. Rudder told the district school board last week. In the math portion, 78.4 percent of the 245 ninth graders passed the test given in April, Rudder told the Northern Burlington Regional school board at a meeting Monday night. In reading, 95.8 percent of the 239 ninth graders taking that portion passed.
NEWS
March 10, 2003
ELMER SMITH is right: The Bush administration's test-driven education plan will leave many Philadelphia school children behind (column, March 5). But there is a more immediate threat to them: schools CEO Paul Vallas' scheme to base promotion on test scores. Every major organization of testing experts agrees that educational decisions should not be based on results from a single exam. The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, the National Academy of Sciences and the test publishers agree.
NEWS
July 11, 2011
Pennsylvania lawmakers should take care in considering a bill that would let school districts use students' test scores to measure teacher performance. The legislation would mandate a statewide change as early as next year. Standardized-test scores would weigh heavily in determining whether teachers keep their jobs, receive tenure, or get merit pay. Given the sorry state of education, with students dropping out and flunking at alarming rates, it makes sense to use sterner measures to evaluate teachers, reward the best educators, and show the door to those who continually fail to improve.
NEWS
July 17, 2011 | By Dorie Turner, Associated Press
ATLANTA - Teachers spent nights huddled in a back room, erasing wrong answers on students' test sheets and filling in the correct bubbles. At another school, struggling students were seated next to higher-performing classmates so they could copy answers. Those and other confessions are contained in a new state report that reveals how far some Atlanta public schools went to raise test scores in the nation's largest-ever cheating scandal. Investigators concluded that nearly half the city's schools allowed the cheating to go unchecked for as long as a decade, beginning in 2001.
NEWS
October 28, 1998 | By Jennifer Farrell, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
School officials released district-wide test results last week that showed mixed results across the curriculum. Superintendent Harold Kurtz pointed to an influx of new students with "serious learning gaps" as an explanation for the uneven results in reading, math and writing test scores. "We're fighting a tide of new youngsters with learning problems," said Kurtz, who said the numbers don't tell the whole educational story. "It's not fair. It's the reality, but it's just not fair.
NEWS
February 20, 1987 | By George Wilson, Inquirer Editorial Board
Results of test scores in grades 1 through 8 in the Philadelphia public schools, announced last week, are heartening in many ways. They show improvement in reading and math for pupils in all of those grades, which is the most important thing. They also demonstrate a fundamental turnaround for a school system that seemed to be down and out a few years ago and is now gaining steadily in public confidence, deservedly so. Constance E. Clayton has received much of the credit, as she should.
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NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 26, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 11, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 30, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
May 10, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Martha Woodall, and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers
The culture of cheating was so blatant at Cayuga Elementary, authorities said, that the principal broadcast orders to tamper with tests over the loudspeaker. Five educators were arrested Thursday and accused of tampering with public records, forgery, conspiracy and other crimes - the first such charges brought in a Pennsylvania cheating investigation expected to yield more arrests. Charged Thursday were Evelyn Cortez, 59, Cayuga's principal until last week, and teachers Jennifer Hughes, 59, Lorraine Vicente, 41, Rita Wyszynski, 65, and Ary Sloane, 56, who had been principal of Bethune Elementary.
NEWS
December 14, 2013 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST CHESTER West Chester University has again been named one of the nation's top values for public colleges and universities, according to Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine. Each year since 2008 the Chester County school has made the list, which ranks institutions based on quality of education and overall cost to students. This year, West Chester is ranked 77th among the top 100 schools. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is No. 1 on the list. The University of Delaware is No. 32. The College of New Jersey is 34th, Rutgers University 47th, and Pennsylvania State University 53d. The list is compiled using data from 600 public schools, with criteria such as the admission rate; test scores of incoming students; graduation rates; and costs of tuition and room and board.
NEWS
May 17, 2013
The principal who lost his job after blowing the whistle on test cheating in Camden schools seven years ago is again on his way to being let go, giving life to the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. Rehired less than a year ago, Joseph D. Carruth has been told he will be out of work on July 1 unless the School District finds a new position for him. State education officials, who are taking over the city's schools, should do their best to keep him employed. No one was ever held responsible for what state investigators called "adult interference" at two Camden elementary schools and the magnet high school where Carruth was principal.
NEWS
April 9, 2013
WE'VE CERTAINLY made progress. Used to be, some kids cheated on their tests. Now it's the teachers and principals who cheat. Last week, Philly took a back seat to Atlanta, where a grand jury indicted an ex-superintendent and nearly three dozen former administrators, teachers and principals. Seems when students took tests and got answers wrong, teachers gathered in covens, pulled out their erasers and - presto, change-o - turned them into correct answers. The district "earned" more than $500,000 for the improved scores.
NEWS
April 8, 2013
The unprecedented cheating scandal now unfolding in Atlanta reveals a danger of the increased emphasis on standardized testing. But that does not excuse the alleged misbehavior of educators there and elsewhere, including Philadelphia. Adults who cheat children out of an education must be held accountable. Former Atlanta schools Superintendent Beverly Hall is one of an astounding 35 educators who surrendered to authorities last week on conspiracy, theft, and racketeering charges more commonly used to prosecute organized-crime figures.
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