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School Evaluation Services Pennsylvania Update Education Policy and Leadership Center Western Pennsylvania Breakfast Series Jonathan Jacobson, Director May 23, 2002. This Morning’s Presentation. SES Background Status Update User Feedback Enhancements Pennsylvania Statewide Insights

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This morning s presentation

School Evaluation ServicesPennsylvania UpdateEducation Policy and Leadership CenterWestern Pennsylvania Breakfast SeriesJonathan Jacobson, DirectorMay 23, 2002


This morning s presentation

This Morning’s Presentation

  • SES Background

  • Status Update

  • User Feedback

  • Enhancements

  • Pennsylvania Statewide Insights

  • What’s Next


Ses background

SES Background


What is school evaluation services

What is School Evaluation Services?

  • A powerful diagnostic and decision-making tool for administrators, educators, policymakers, taxpayers, and parents

  • Annual written report on the strengths, challenges, and risks for each of the state’s school districts

  • Public website containing these reports and detailed supporting data trends and comparative benchmarks

  • Annual comprehensive report on the state’s collective circumstances, yearly progress, and policy implications


Ses converts data to information through its unique analytical framework

SES converts data to information through its unique analytical framework

  • Transparency, consistency, accessibility

  • Objective interpretation

  • “Return on Resources” – simultaneous examination of spending, results, and context

  • Multi-year trends measure progress

  • Each district compared to five benchmarks: state, I.U., county, and demographic peer averages, as well as district itself over time

  • Website’s interactive display of data allows users to customize comparison groups


This morning s presentation

SES website data menu example – Student Results

  • Five comparison groups to choose from

  • Six data subsections to choose from


How does ses help pennsylvania s education stakeholders

How does SES help Pennsylvania’s education stakeholders?

  • SES goes beyond reporting test scores – it synthesizes achievement indicators with financial data to measure return and inform resource allocation decisions

  • There may not be sufficient resources or staff at either the state or the local level to perform data benchmarking and analysis – SES fills this void

  • SES helps decision-makers at all levels avoid being “data rich but information poor”

  • SES helps end policymakers’ and stakeholders’ reliance on anecdotal generalizations


Pennsylvania advisory group

Pennsylvania Advisory Group

  • Leslye Abrutyn, Superintendent, Penn-Delco SD

  • Carolyn Dumaresq, Executive Director, PSEA

  • Tom Gentzel, Executive Director, PSBA

  • Jay Himes, Executive Director, PASBO

  • Sheri Rowe, Office of Educational Initiatives, PDE

  • Stinson Stroup, Executive Director, PASA

  • Larry Wittig, State Board of Education, State Workforce Investment Board

  • Jan Zastawniak, President, PenSPRA


Ses status update

SES Status Update


Milestones accomplished

Milestones accomplished

  • SES launched for Michigan – May 2001

  • SES launched for Pennsylvania – October 2001

  • Interim data update for Michigan – October 2001

  • Interim data update for Pennsylvania – November 2001

  • “Statewide Insights” released for Michigan – December 2001

  • Round 2 released for Michigan – January 2002

  • “Statewide Insights” released for Pennsylvania – May 2002


Milestones to come

Milestones to come

  • Round 2 (2000 data) release for Pennsylvania – May 2002

  • Round 3 (2001 data) release for Pennsylvania – 4Q 2002


Ses website traffic has exceeded expectations

SES website traffic has exceeded expectations


Parents are the most frequent visitors to the ses website

Parents are the most frequent visitors to the SES website

Pennsylvania data through 04/30/2002


Usage among school personnel is significant

Usage among school personnel is significant

Cumulative data through 04/30/2002


This morning s presentation

While activity peaks predictably during launch periods, visits during non-launch periods are relatively constant

Average Daily “Off-Peak” Logins: 331

Average Daily “Off-Peak” Logins: 233

PA population is 12 million; MI population is 9.8 million


Pennsylvania activity has nearly matched michigan s in much less time

Pennsylvania activity has nearly matched Michigan’s in much less time

Cumulative data through 04/30/2002


Ses user feedback

SES User Feedback


Standard poor s seeks values and uses customer feedback

Standard & Poor’s seeks, values, and uses customer feedback

  • E-mail links, state-designated e-mail boxes, and a toll-free telephone number enable easy and frequent communication

  • All inquiries, comments, and suggestions are logged, identified by type, distributed, and tracked

  • Responses are timely, thorough, and courteous

  • More formal research is underway

  • User feedback is a primary source of SES enhancements


Positive commentary about ses repeatedly cited by pennsylvania school leaders

Positive commentary about SES repeatedly cited by Pennsylvania school leaders

  • Helpful in strategic planning, budgeting, benchmarking

  • Comparative data are useful—particularly peers

  • Effective accountability tool

  • Useful in communicating to school board, local stakeholders

  • Information has prompted discussions in community

  • Helpful for people considering moving into community

  • Coming from an objective source makes SES more valuable


Other positive comments about ses from school administrators

Other positive comments about SES from school administrators

  • Helped achieve programmatic improvements

  • Used SES data to renegotiate benefits package—cost savings were converted to teacher salary increases

  • Potential to use SES data to identify best practices

  • “Return on resources” concept is innovative and valuable

  • Explanations, disclaimers, caveats are helpful

  • Service is needed—grateful that it’s being provided


Ses enhancements

SES Enhancements


Many improvements have been implemented since the initial launch of the ses website last year

Many improvements have been implemented since the initial launch of the SES website last year

  • Major enhancements

    • Intermediate Unit comparison group

    • Interim statewide data revisions

    • Display of basic school-level data

    • “Beating the odds” schools in S&P Observations

    • Statewide graphics

    • Navigation menu page

    • Enhanced district trend data display


Many improvements have been implemented since the initial launch of the ses website last year1

Many improvements have been implemented since the initial launch of the SES website last year

  • Other enhancements

    • Expansion of S&P Observations to include methodology, glossary, and list of peers

    • “State homepage” – administrator’s toolkit, state education department links, state facts

    • Navigation path icons – clearer indication of actions and selections

    • “Contact Us” e-mail links

    • Homepage content and reconfiguration

    • Log In page simplification


Additional enhancements are in the works

Additional enhancements are in the works

  • Data display

    • School-level information

    • Data sorting tools

    • Format and organization of S&P Observations

  • User interface

    • School/district searching tools

    • Website tutorial/presentation

    • Data mapping explanation/crosswalk


Pennsylvania statewide insights

Pennsylvania Statewide Insights


This morning s presentation

Student Results

  • PSSA indicators show only slight improvement

  • Highest district PSSA Composite Score was 1457, while the lowest was 1087

  • Highest district percent of scores above median was 80.5%, while the lowest was 6.3%


This morning s presentation

Achievement Gaps

Across the state, white students’ PSSA scores were significantly higher than those of black, Hispanic, Native American, and multi-ethnic students


Return on resources

Return on Resources

  • PSSA results have increased slightly, but so has spending (net of inflation) – therefore, the state’s return on resources has not improved

  • Performance Cost Index (PCI) data suggest that reasonable spending increases are not likely to make enough difference by themselves, if the goal is to enable all students to meet state standards

  • A better rate of return on resources is needed if additional spending is to make a substantial impact

  • Strategies to improve achievement may need to include, but go well beyond, monetary inputs

  • A comparison of data for specific school districts leads to the same conclusion…


This morning s presentation

Return on Resources (continued)

There is no significant correlation between spending and results – at any given spending level, there is a wide range of student achievement


This morning s presentation

Return on Resources (continued)

Spending “decreases” for Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh when adjusted for the higher cost of serving students with special needs, and for geographic differences in the cost of education


This morning s presentation

Return on Resources (continued)

A number of districts with above-average enrollments of economically disadvantaged students demonstrated a better-than-average return on resources, as measured by lower (more favorable) PCIs.

Harrisburg

Pennsylvania School Districts

Performance Cost Index (PSSA) and Low-Income Enrollment

80

172 Districts

4 Districts are not shown in this quadrant

153 Districts

because they are outliers

70

Philadelphia

60

Pittsburgh

50

Performance Cost Index for PSSA Mean

Composite Scores ($)

40

30

Weighted Avg. =

$22.51

20

24 Districts

(14 districts had PSSA

results that were at or

above the average)

10

151 Districts

Weighted Avg. = 31.7%

0

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

Enrollment of Low-Income Students (%)


This morning s presentation

Best Practices

PSSA scores and socioeconomic status are correlated; however, many schools “beat the odds”

Pennsylvania Elementary Schools

PSSA Scores and Low-Income Enrollment

1600

707 Schools

163 Elementary Schools Beat the Odds

1550

1500

1450

1400

1350

1300

1250

Weighted

PSSA Mean Composite Score

1200

Avg. = 1314

1150

1100

1050

1000

950

900

153 Schools

850

Weighted Avg. = 35.4%

481 Schools

800

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

Enrollment of Low-Income Students (%)


This morning s presentation

Pennsylvania School Districts

PSSA Scores and Low-Income Enrollment

1600

248 Districts

1550

46 Districts Beat the Odds

10 districts remained in this quadrant for 3 consecutive years

1500

1450

1400

1350

1300

Weighted Avg. = 1303

PSSA Mean Composite Score

1250

1200

1150

1100

1050

1000

950

75 Districts

Weighted Avg. = 31.7%

131 Districts

900

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Enrollment of Low-Income Students (%)

Best Practices (continued)

Many school districts as a whole also “beat the odds”


What do the data tell us

What do the data tell us?

  • No “silver bullets”

  • Without improved return, goals of improving student achievement overall and of closing achievement gaps are probably unaffordable

  • How money is spent is as important as how much money is spent

  • Need to align policy making with data analysis

  • Districts and schools that beat the odds – particularly those that do so consistently over time – are potential sources of best practice


Next steps

Next Steps


Coming with next release

Coming with next release…

  • Charter school information

  • School-level data

  • Peer methodology to include state aid ratio

  • More detailed trend data

  • Improved location search features

  • Website self-tutorial

  • Data mapping crosswalk


Ongoing efforts

Ongoing efforts…

  • Tutorial and training programs

  • More detailed school-level information

  • Data sorting tools

  • Market research and user outreach


Where to find us how to reach us

Where to find us, how to reach us

  • Website URL: www.ses.standardandpoors.com

  • E-mail address: [email protected]


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