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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20130&cosponId=12281
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 25, 2013 01:07 PM
From: Representative Jim Cox and Rep. Kathy L. Rapp
To: All House members
Subject: School Grading System
 

In an age where information about almost everything is readily available at our fingertips, we must do a better job of providing easily-understood data to parents, students and taxpayers about the performance of our public schools, including traditional public schools and districts, charters, cyber charters and career and technical schools. Those of us who regularly deal with educational issues understand that we use many acronyms and phrases that sound foreign to many people. By creating a one-stop shop that clearly presents data about a school’s performance, parents, students and the public will be empowered to make decisions and get involved.

A state-provided school grading system will provide letter grades that can be used to understand how well schools are serving students and to compare performance with other schools. This legislation directs the department to develop a system that takes into account student performance measures, student growth measures and other indicators that show the academic health of a school or district. All of this data, combined into one letter grade on a public website, will be more accessible and more understandable by the public.

School-level data about teacher effectiveness will also be included on the public website so that parents and other stakeholders can identify schools with highly effective educators. This legislation relies on the four categories laid out in our recently enacted educator effectiveness system.

Beyond providing the information to the public, a school grading system will allow schools to compare their performance with other schools, and could serve as the basis for identifying best practices and collaboration that will lead to improvement across the system.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation to provide relevant information as a first step in empowering parents, students and taxpayers to make informed decisions and get involved in improving the educational system.

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Introduced as HB1300