Understanding the Report
The Reference School table displays data for the currently selected school, including
- Minimum and maximum grade tested with PSSA or Keystone
- Percentages of students in several demographic categories
- Graduation rate, if applicable
The demographic information is calculated annually from the state assessment administration files received from the assessment vendor.
When you first navigate to the report, the list displays all schools that have data for the currently selected assessment. For assessments analyzed with the growth standard methodology, schools that have at least one tested grade in common with the reference school are included in the list. For example, if the reference school is an elementary school with tested grades 3-5, middle schools serving only grades 6-8 are not included. However, a middle school serving grades 5-8 is included because the reference school also has data for fifth grade.
The schools are listed by Average Growth Index, from highest to lowest. To reorder the list, click any column heading. To reverse the order in which the schools are listed, click the same column heading again.
The reference school appears at the top of the list and again in its appropriate place in the list based on the currently selected order. In both places, the reference school is highlighted in yellow so it can be identified easily.
Each school name is a link. Click the link to select a school as the reference school.
The PSSA ELA and PSSA Math assessments are administered in grades 3-8, and the PSSA Science assessment is administered in grades 4 and 8. Keystone exams are not grade-specific assessments; they are end of course assessments administered in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology. The Tested Grades represents the grade range for students who tested at the LEA/district.
Each growth measure is a precise, conservative estimate of the academic growth a school's students have made, on average, in tested grades and subjects or Keystone content areas. The growth measures displayed here are the most recent year's growth measures from the school's Value-Added report.
The growth measure is calculated differently for PSSA math and ELA than it is for PSSA science and the Keystone assessments.
All growth measures on the PVAAS reports are estimates. All estimates have some amount of measurement error, which is known as the standard error. This value defines a confidence band around the growth measure, which describes how strong the evidence is that the group of students exceeded, met, or fell short of the growth standard.
For more information about standard errors, see Growth Measures and Standard Errors.
Average Growth Index
The Average Growth Index is a reliable measure of whether a school's students exceeded, met, or fell short of the growth standard in each subject or Keystone content area. This value takes into account the amount of growth the students have made, on average, as well as the strength of the evidence for that measure. Specifically, the index is the growth measure divided by its standard error. Because the standard error is accounted for, and because all the index values are on the same scale, the Average Growth Index is an appropriate measure to use for the comparison. Growth Measures by themselves should not be used for this purpose.
For assessments analyzed with the growth standard methodology, the Average Growth Index represents the growth of students in the selected subject across all grades in which value-added measures were provided in the most recent year.
For assessments analyzed with the predictive methodology, the Average Growth Index represents the growth of students in the selected grade and subject or Keystone content area in the most recent year.
In small school systems where there is only one teacher in some grades, the school measure does not necessarily reflect the growth index for that teacher. The school and teacher value-added reports are generated from two separate analyses. While both use similar analytic models, the percentage of responsibility used in the analysis might differ between the school and teacher value-added reports. In the school analysis, students included count 100%. In the teacher analysis, students are weighted based on the percentage of instructional responsibility. In addition, the analytic model that generates teacher reports is more conservative than the model that generates school reports, protecting teachers from misclassification due to a smaller number of students as compared to the school report.
The Average Growth Index is color-coded based on the same color-coding rules that are used in the Value-Added reports.
The legend at the bottom of the report provides guidance for interpreting the colors.
|Growth Color Indicator||Average Growth Index||Interpretation|
2.00 or higher
Significant evidence that the school exceeded the growth standard
Between 1.00 and 2.00
Moderate evidence that the school exceeded the growth standard
Between -1.00 and 1.00
Evidence that the school exceeded the growth standard
Between -1.00 and -2.00
Moderate evidence that the school did not meet the growth standard
-2.00 or lower
Significant evidence that the school did not meet the growth standard
When an Average Growth Index falls exactly on the boundary between two colors, the higher growth color indicator is assigned. Keep in mind that the displayed values are rounded. Growth color indicators are applied to unrounded index values.
Percentage of Students Proficient
Percentage of Students Proficient on PSSA and PASA, or on a Keystone exam. For Keystone content areas, this represents the actual score when they took the Key stone exam.
Percentage of Students Advanced
Percentage of Students Advanced on PSSA and PASA, or on a Keystone exam. For Keystone content areas, this represents the actual score when they took the Keystone exam.
Total Percentage of Students Proficient or Advanced
Total Percentage of Students Proficient or Advanced on PSSA and PASA, or on a Keystone exam. For Keystone content areas, this represents the actual score when they took the Keystone exam.
By default, the Comparison School list includes all schools that have data for the selected subject or Keystone content area. You can narrow this list to include only schools that meet demographic criteria of interest to you.
Start by clicking restrict search above the list of comparison schools.
If you have access to schools in multiple LEAs/districts, you can
- Include schools statewide whose reporting you are authorized to view, or
- Limit the list to include only schools in the same LEA/district as the reference school
Restricting by Tested Grades
To restrict the list to schools that have data for selected grades, check the box next to Tested Grades. The minimum and maximum tested grades for the reference school will appear in the table. You can keep this range or change it. The search results will include only schools whose minimum and maximum tested grades fall within the range you define.
Restricting by Demographics
To restrict by any of the demographics listed, check the appropriate box. The reference school's data for that demographic appears in the table. You'll want to define a range that includes the reference school's value. Keep in mind that a very narrow range is likely to include few schools for comparison.
After you've selected the restrictions for your search, click Submit.
The Comparison Schools list now includes only those schools that meet the criteria you defined.
To change or remove your search restrictions, use the buttons above the list of schools.