The State of Pennsylvania Public Education, 2014

A PENNCAN RESEARCH REPORT

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The State of PENN Public Education

Preface

Pennsylvania’s public education system is in the midst of a significant statewide transition–we have begun to implement the Pennsylvania Core Standards and their aligned Keystone Assessments, which are more rigorous than the old system; we have started to use multiple measures of student achievement to evaluate teachers and principals; and there’s a new boss in the Governor’s mansion and new leadership in both the House and Senate.

These new developments make it absolutely essential for policymakers and stakeholders to have a clear understanding of how Pennsylvania students are faring in our schools. That’s where PennCAN’s annual State of Education report comes in.

We believe in the power of data to drive conversations about change and how to move forward. Our SOE serves as an annual look at the anatomy of our system, including the students it serves and how it’s working.

Unfortunately, this year we are not able to provide the kind of deep analysis stakeholders deserve because the Pennsylvania Department of Education significantly delayed the release of statewide disaggregated data by grade-level. But even without that disaggregated data, we are able to conclude that Pennsylvania is not delivering on its promise to provide a high quality education to all of its students. In 2014, test scores declined, achievement gaps persist, graduation rates, while improving, are still lagging.

We can and must do better.

As advocates, we may not always agree on every policy or strategy to transform our schools, but the goal is the same: to give Pennsylvania students a world-class education. Join us in our movement to ensure that all students are held to the highest standards and are prepared for college or career after graduation.

The students

The first step to understanding our school system is understanding who it serves. Find out more about the students who attend our schools, including their demographic breakdown and the kinds of schools they’re enrolled in.

Who we’re educating

Demographic breakdown, 2013–20141

“Enrollment Public Schools 2013–14,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/enrollment/7407/public_school_enrollment_reports/620541 “School Lunch – Students Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch,” Kids Count Data Center, accessed December 9, 2014, http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/Tables/2720-school-lunch--students-eligible-for-free-or-reduced-price-lunch?loc=40&loct=2#detailed/2/any/false/1249,1120,1024,937,809/any/10324,10325 “English as a Second Language – ESL,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/english_as_a_second_language/7529 Special Education Data Report: School Year 2013-2014," Pennsylvania State Data Center, accessed January 22, 2014, http://penndata.hbg.psu.edu/BSEReports/Data%20Preview/2013_2014/PDF_Documents/Speced_Quick_Report_State_Final.pdf.

Where our students attend school, 2012–20134

“The Public Charter Schools Dashboard: Total Number of Schools,” The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, accessed December 9, 2014, http://dashboard.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/overview/state/PA/year/2013

The system

Take a look at the system we’ve built for our students: how we prepare them for kindergarten, whom we’ve hired to fill our classrooms, the laws schools and educators must abide by and how much we spend on it all.

Pennsylvania school policies

School staffing policies

Principal evaluation5 Act 82 of 2012 established a statewide principal evaluation system. All principals in district schools will be evaluated annually beginning in the 2014–2015 school year (public charter schools are not required to participate in the evaluation system). Fifty percent of the evaluation score is based on observed leadership practices in the domains of strategic/cultural leadership, systems leadership, leadership for learning, and professional and community leadership. The other fifty percent of the evaluation score is based on multiple measures of student performance. Principals receive an overall performance rating of Distinguished, Proficient, Needs Improvement or Failing.
Teacher evaluation

Act 82 of 2012 established a statewide teacher evaluation system. Beginning with this school year, all teachers will be evaluated annually. Fifty percent of the evaluation score is based on observations of classroom practice in the domains of planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. The remaining 50 percent of the evaluation score is based on multiple measures of student performance. Teachers receive an overall performance rating of Distinguished, Proficient, Needs Improvement or Failing. Teachers rated Needs Improvement or Failing must participate in a performance improvement plan.6 If a teacher receives an unsatisfactory rating in two consecutive evaluations, the district may dismiss the teacher.7

If a district wishes to modify the state’s evaluation model, it may submit an alternative for state approval.8 Pittsburgh uses an alternative evaluation system that employs a different teacher observation rubric (known as RISE) and a different value-added model that accounts for student characteristics the state’s value-added model does not account for, such as English Language Learner status and learning disability status. Pittsburgh’s evaluation system also places more weight on student growth on the state assessment than does the state’s model, and it incorporates results from student surveys of teacher performance.9

Teacher tenure

Pennsylvania teachers are awarded tenure after a three-year probationary period. Districts are not required to consider evidence of effectiveness in the classroom when making tenure decisions.10

During reductions in force, Pennsylvania requires districts to lay off teachers in inverse order of seniority, with the least senior teachers laid off first. Pennsylvania is one of eleven states that require some or all districts to use this “last in, first out” (LIFO) layoff policy.11

In Philadelphia, Superintendent Hite and the School Reform Commission have implemented new teacher work rules that eliminate seniority as a factor in teacher placement. Beginning this year, principals have full authority to fill all teaching vacancies as they see fit, irrespective of candidates’ seniority. This follows another change by Superintendent Hite that allows the district to recall previously laid off teachers selectively rather than by seniority.12

Teacher compensation

Districts establish teacher compensation policies in Pennsylvania. There is no statewide salary schedule and no policies in place that support or prohibit differentiated compensation systems based on teacher effectiveness.13

Pennsylvania ranked 8th nationally among states in average annual public school teacher salary in 2012–2013 (although this figure does not take into consideration cost-of-living differences across states).14

Pittsburgh implemented a district-wide career ladder salary schedule for teachers hired after June 2010. The current Pittsburgh teacher contract, spanning 2010 to 2015, established an accelerated salary schedule that allows teachers to maximize earnings earlier in their careers and take on additional responsibility as they move up the salary schedule. Movement up the salary schedule is partly determined by effectiveness in the classroom. The most effective teachers at the top of the salary schedule can earn more than $100,000 per year.15

Teacher certification

To become certified to teach in Pennsylvania, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete an approved program of study, have a cumulative 3.0 GPA in either a bachelor’s or master’s degree program and pass the required certification test for their subject area and grade level.16 Evaluations of teacher effectiveness are considered in licensure advancement decisions.17

Pennsylvania offers three alternative routes to certification: Teacher Intern Certification, Residency Certification and certification through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. These certification programs allow candidates to bypass traditional higher education programs approved by the state, but they still place requirements on certification receipt. For example, candidates for Teacher Intern Certification must have a bachelor’s degree in the subject they will teach, along with a 3.0 GPA, and they must pass a subject-matter test.18

“Educator Effectiveness Administration Manual,” Pennsylvania Department of Education (July 2014), accessed December 19, 2014, http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/directory/educator_effectiveness/180223?DirMode=1 “Educator Effectiveness Administration Manual.” Public School Code of 1949 – Sec. 1122(a), accessed December 19, 2014, http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/uconsCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&yr=1949&sessInd=0&smthLwInd=0&act=14&chpt=11&sctn=22&subsctn=0. “Educator Effectiveness Systems in Pennsylvania: Locally Developed Alternate System,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed July 10, 2014, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/educator_effectiveness_project/20903 Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research (PACER), “Teacher Effectiveness: An Update on Pennsylvania’s Teacher Evaluation System,” PACER (December 2013), accessed July 10, 2014, http://www.researchforaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/RFA-PACER-Brief-on-Teacher-Eval-Dec-2013.pdf National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), “2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Pennsylvania,” (Washington, D.C.: NCTQ, 2014), page 91, accessed July 11, 2014, http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/2013_State_Teacher_Policy_Yearbook_Pennsylvania_NCTQ_Report “Pennsylvania,” savegreatteachers.com (StudentsFirst), accessed July 11, 2014, http://savegreatteachers.com/ Dale Mezzacappa, “Hite Suspending Seniority for September, Seeking Approval from Supreme Court,” The Notebook, March 24, 2014, accessed July 11, 2014, http://thenotebook.org/blog/147039/hite-suspending-seniority-rules-september-going-supreme-court “2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook,” pages 113 and 124. “Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13 (Table 211.60),” National Center for Education Statistics: Digest of Education Statistics, 2013 Tables and Figures, accessed July 11, 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_211.60.asp “Collective Bargaining Agreement for Teachers and Other Professional Employees between the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers,” page 76, accessed July 11, 2014, http://www.nctq.org/docs/PFT_Teachers_CBA_2010-15.pdf “Certification Requirements,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed July 11, 2014, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pa_certification/8635/certification_requirements/506743 National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), “State of the States 2013: Connect the Dots: Using evaluations of teacher effectiveness to inform policy and practice,” (Washington, D.C.: NCTQ, 2013), page 20, accessed July 11, 2014, http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/State_of_the_States_2013_Using_Teacher_Evaluations_NCTQ_Report “2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook,” page 53.

Public charter school policies19

Public charter school caps

There is no state limit on charter school growth, however the School District of Philadelphia is accepting charter applications for the first time this year, ending a seven-year moratorium.

Authorizers

Local school boards are the only available authorizer for brick and mortar charter schools. When charters are denied, an appeal can be made to the state appeals board. The state department of education is the only authorizer for virtual charter schools.

Initial charters must be for a period of three to five years.

There is no regular review process of authorizers in place in Pennsylvania, however, the state may choose to review an authorizer at any time.

Accountability

The charter law requires a written contract between the charter school and authorizer that describes the responsibilities of the school, but does not require a listing of the responsibilities of the authorizer.

The law only generally references performance standards and does not include specific requirements about student performance or other measures of school performance.

There are no set guidelines in the charter law for an authorizer’s charter renewal procedures, however, if an authorizer chooses not to renew a charter, it must provide notification including the grounds for nonrenewal and hold a public hearing. Schools may appeal nonrenewal or revocation decisions to the state appeals board.

Facilities

Pennsylvania law provides reimbursement of facilities rental costs up to certain statutory limits, charter schools may apply for tax-exempt financing through the State Public School Building Authority and they are exempt from regulations on public school facilities, with the exception of those related to student safety.

The state charter law does not have any provisions related to right of first refusal for unused public school buildings.

Funding

Pennsylvania law requires that funding equal to the average per pupil expenditure pass through the school district to the charter school. In practice, however, this does not always result in equitable funding.

According to a recent study, when all funding streams are considered, the average charter school receives $12,495 per pupil, while the average district school receives $15,045 in per pupil funding (16.9 percent less).20

“Measuring up to the Model,” National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, accessed July 16, 2014, http://www.publiccharters.org/get-the-facts/law-database/states/PA/ May, Jay F.,“Charter School Funding: Inequity Expands, Pennsylvania Profile (April 2014),” University of Arkansas, accessed July 16, 2014, http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/charter-funding-inequity-expands-pa.pdf

Pennsylvania and the Common Core State Standards21

More than 40 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards in English and math, and one state—Minnesota—has adopted the English standards only.

“Standards in Your State,” Common Core State Standards Initiative, accessed July 16, 2014, http://www.corestandards.org/standards-in-your-state/

Pre-K access

A glimpse at preschool access in Pennsylvania22

National Institute of Early Education Research: The State of Preschool, 2013

25,622
Total state program enrollment
25,242
Number of students enrolled in federally funded Head Start programs
5,065
Number of students enrolled in state-funded Head Start programs
5%
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state pre-K programs
7%
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs
14/27
National Institute for Early Education Research’s access ranking for 3-year-olds
12%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state pre-K programs
10%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs
30/41
National Institute for Early Education Research’s access ranking for 4-year-olds
“The State of Preschool 2013,” National Institute for Early Education Research, pp. 113-118, accessed December 9, 2014, http://nieer.org/sites/nieer/files/yearbook2013.pdf

The Cost

Per pupil spending, 201223

“Public Education Finances, 2012,” United States Census Bureau, p. 8, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/12f33pub.pdf

How per pupil funding was allocated in 201224

“Public Education Finances, 2012,” United States Census Bureau, p. 8, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/12f33pub.pdf

How the system is working

We now know who our students are and what kind of school system we’ve given them. But is that system working? Take a journey through Pennsylvania’s K-12 system and find out how well students are learning each step of the way.

Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (Grades 3-8, 11)

In 2014, we saw a decline in test scores across every subgroup of our student population, as well as for each grade level. Equally disappointing is the fact that this data were released to the public just days before the December holidays. School-level reports were delayed until after the gubernatorial election and statewide data were not available until very late in December. Pennsylvania must do better.

PSSA proficiency, grades 3-8, 1125

Percentage of PA students in grades 3-8, 11 proficient or advanced in 2014

“2013–2014 Required Federal Reporting Measure Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed December 19, 2014, http://www.eseafedreport.com/Content/reportcards/RC14M.PDF

elementary school26

Over the last decade, student achievement has improved across the board for almost all elementary school students on the Nation’s Report Card, but only modestly. Since 2003, average student performance across all fourth-graders has increased by eight percentage points in math and seven percentage points in reading, resulting in performance rates that are lower than many of our neighboring states, such as Maryland and New Jersey.

When we look at Philadelphia in particular, those numbers are even worse. Less than 20 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient or above in math or reading on the Nation’s Report Card, meaning that more than 80 percent of fourth-graders in Philadelphia are already lagging behind before they enter middle school.

“NAEP Data Explorer,” National Center for Education Statistics, accessed December 9, 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/dataset.aspx

NAEP proficiency, 4th grade

Percentage of PA 4th-graders proficient or advanced on the Nation’s Report Card in 2013

Trial Urban District Assessment proficiency, 4th grade

TUDA is a subset of the Nation’s Report Card that looks at math, reading, science and writing assessments across large districts in the United States.

Percentage of Philadelphia 4th-graders proficient or advanced, 2013

Regional comparison

Percentage of 4th-graders proficient or advanced on the Nation’s Report Card in 2013

  National Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland New Jersey New York Ohio
 
Math 41 44 42 47 49 40 48
Reading 34 40 38 45 42 37 37
  Math Reading
National 41 34
Pennsylvania 44 40
Delaware 42 38
Maryland 47 45
New Jersey 49 42
New York 40 37
Ohio 48 37

Trial Urban District Assessment proficiency, 4th grade

Percentage of 4th-graders proficient or advanced, 2013

City to City comparison

Nation’s Report Card trends, 4th grade

Percentage of PA 4th-graders proficient or advanced on the Nation's Report Card

Proficiency gaps

A proficiency gap represents the difference in proficiency rates between two groups of students. In Pennsylvania, for example, a much higher proportion of white students score proficient or advanced on state and national tests compared to their black peers: the proportion of white fourth-graders who score at least proficient in math on the Nation’s Report Card exceeds the proportion of black fourth-graders scoring proficient by a whopping 33 percentage points.

Nation's Report Card Proficiency Gap, 4th Grade

The difference in proficiency rates between white students and students of color, and low-income students and non-low-income students (in percentage points)

Achievement gaps

Achievement gaps show the difference in average student performance on the Nation’s Report Card (also known as “scale scores”) between different subgroups. In Pennsylvania, average low-income student performance in fourth-grade reading trails behind that of their wealthier peers by over 27 points.

Nation’s Report Card achievement gap, 4th grade

The scale-score difference in student achievement between white students and students of color, and low-income students and non-low-income students

  White/Black White/Latino Low-income/Non-low-income
Math 23.8 20.4 22.6
Reading 24.7 24.1 27.3
  Math Reading
White/Black 23.8 24.7
White/Latino 20.4 24.1
Low-income/Non-low-income 22.6 27.3

middle school27

The good news is Pennsylvania has seen even more gains on the Nation’s Report Card at the middle school level over the last decade. Since 2003, math proficiency has increased by 12 percentage points overall, and we’ve seen a 10 percentage point gain in reading. However, proficiency gaps remain enduring and alarmingly high for our middle school students. There is a more than 25-percentage point gap in proficiency between students of color and white students and low-income students and their wealthier peers in both reading and math. And when we compare fourth-grade scores to eighth-grade scores, the proficiency gaps have not gotten better. Rather, they have either stayed the same or have increased in some instances.

“NAEP Data Explorer,” National Center for Education Statistics, accessed December 9, 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/dataset.aspx

NEAP proficiency, 8th grade

Percentage of PA 8th-graders proficient or advanced on the Nation’s report Card in 2013

Trial Urban District Assessment proficiency, 8th grade

Percentage of Philadelphia 8th-graders proficient or advanced, 2013

Regional comparison

Percentage of 8th-graders proficient or advanced on the Nation’s Report Card in 2013

  National Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland New Jersey New York Ohio
 
Math 34 42 33 37 49 32 40
Reading 34 42 33 42 46 35 39
  Math Reading
National 34 34
Pennsylvania 42 42
Delaware 33 33
Maryland 37 42
New Jersey 49 46
New York 32 35
Ohio 40 39

Trial Urban District Assessment proficiency, 8th grade

Percentage of 8th-graders proficient or advanced, 2013

City to city comparison

Nation’s Report Card trends

Percentage of PA 8th-graders proficient or advanced on the Nation's Report Card

Nation’s Report Card proficiency gap, 8th grade

The difference in proficiency rates between white students and students of color, and low-income students and non-low-income students (in percentage points)

Nation’s Report Card achievement gap, 8th grade

The scale-score difference in student achievement between white students and students of color, and low-income students and non-low-income students

  White/Black White/Latino Low-income/Non-low-income
Math 35.3 32.6 28.5
Reading 28.9 29.4 23.7
  Math Reading
White/Black 35.3 28.9
White/Latino 32.6 29.4
Low-income/Non-low-income 28.5 23.7

high school

Unfortunately, the achievement disparities continue for Pennsylvania high school students from graduation rates to AP exam participation and success. In the class of 2013, 89 percent of white students graduated in four years compared to a much lower 67 percent of black students and 68 percent of Latino students.

Disparities on the AP exam tell a similar story. While 17 percent of white students scored a three or higher on at least one AP exam in 2013, only 3 percent of black students achieved the same result.

4-year cohort graduation rate, Class of 201328

Percentage of students who graduated on time, by subgroup

“2012–2013 Federal Required Reporting Measures Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, p.2, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.eseafedreport.com/Content/reportcards/RC13M.PDF

Students’ participation and success on Advanced Placement exams, 201329

Percentage of graduates leaving high school having taken an AP exam

“The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, State Supplement: Pennsylvania,” College Board, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-pennsylvania.pdf

Percentage of graduates scoring 3+ on an AP exam at any point in high school

Advanced Placement Exams, Regional Comparison30–35

Percentage of the class of 2013 scoring a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement Exam in high school

“The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, State Supplement: Delaware,” College Board, p. 7, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-delaware.pdf “The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, State Supplement: Maryland,” College Board, p. 7, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-maryland.pdf “The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, State Supplement: New Jersey,” College Board, p. 7, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-new-jersey.pdf “The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, State Supplement: New York,” College Board, p. 7, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-new-york.pdf “The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, State Supplement: Ohio,” College Board, p. 7, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-ohio.pdf “The 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation, State Supplement: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 7, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/rtn/10th-annual/10th-annual-ap-report-state-supplement-pennsylvania.pdf

College entrance exams

Just as there are gaps between the academic performance of white students and students of color, there are also gaps in the likelihood that those students will take—and do well on—college entrance exams. For the class of 2014, only 43 percent of seniors nationwide met the college readiness benchmark on the SAT. But even more sobering is the fact that only 16 percent of black students met this benchmark.0

But lacking college readiness knowledge is not just a faraway problem–it’s a problem in Pennsylvania as well. The mean SAT score for all students in Pennsylvania is below the college readiness benchmark. This means that far too many seniors who hope to go to college are not ready for rigorous college material.

"2014 College Board Program Results: SAT," College Board, accessed January 29, 2014, https://www.collegeboard.org/program-results/2014/sat.

Trends in SAT participation36–41

Total number of students in graduating class who took the SAT at any point in high school

“Enrollment Public Schools 2012–2013,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/enrollment/7407/public_school_enrollment_reports/620541 “2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/PA_13_03_03_01.pdf “Enrollment Public School 2009–2010,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/enrollment/7407/public_school_enrollment_reports/620541 “2010 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/PA_10_03_03_01.pdf “Enrollment Public School With Gender 2005–2006,” Pennsylvania Department of Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/enrollment/7407/public_school_enrollment_reports/620541 “2006 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/cb-seniors-2006-pennsylvania.pdf

Trends in SAT scores42–44

“2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/PA_13_03_03_01.pdf “2010 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/PA_10_03_03_01.pdf “2006 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/cb-seniors-2006-pennsylvania.pdf

Regional comparison of SAT performance, 201345–50

“2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Delaware,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/DE_13_03_03_01.pdf “2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Maryland,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/MD_13_03_03_01.pdf “2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: New Jersey,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/NJ_13_03_03_01.pdf “2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: New York,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/NY_13_03_03_01.pdf “2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Ohio,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/OH_13_03_03_01.pdf “2013 College-Bound Seniors State Profile Report: Pennsylvania,” College Board, p. 1, accessed December 9, 2014, http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/2013/PA_13_03_03_01.pdf

After graduation

The ultimate goal of Pennsylvania’s school system is to prepare all of its graduates to thrive in the post-high school world—whether they’re going to college or entering directly into the workforce. So, are we meeting that goal? To find out, we look at how well Pennsylvania students do on college entrance exams, the rate at which they graduate from college, and what they can expect to earn in their lifetimes.

College completion

The proportion of Pennsylvania students who graduate on time from four-year public universities is higher than many of our neighboring states as well as the national average. However, just as we’ve seen in all aspects of our education system, black and Latino students are far less likely to graduate from four-year universities on time than their white peers. Across all groups, the graduation rate for two-year public colleges is significantly lower than the graduation rate for four-year public universities.

Graduation rate53–54

“College Completion: Pennsylvania Public Colleges (2-year),” The Chronicle of Higher Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/state/#state=pa§or=public_two “College Completion: Pennsylvania Public Colleges (4-year),” The Chronicle of Higher Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/state/#state=pa§or=public_four

Regional graduation rate55

“College Completion: Pennsylvania Public Colleges (4-year),” The Chronicle of Higher Education, accessed December 9, 2014, http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/state/#state=pa§or=public_four

Expected earnings

In general, the more education you’ve had, the more you’re likely to make—which is why it is so important to set our students up for success after high school. In Pennsylvania those with a bachelor’s degree take home an annual salary that is, on average, more than double what those who have not gone beyond high school earn.

Average yearly earnings by educational attainment in Pennsylvania56

Data from 2011 Census

  High school dropout High school graduate Some college Bachelor's degree and above
$ $10,775 $24,906 $30,097 $61,113
  $
High school dropout $10,775
High school graduate $24,906
Some college $30,097
Bachelor's degree and above $61,113
“Pennsylvania’s College-and Career-Ready Commitment,” Achieve, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.achieve.org/files/Pennsylvania-CCR-FactSheet-Sept2012.pdf

U.S. Average lifetime earnings by educational attainment, 200857

“Pennsylvania,” Achieve, accessed January 13, 2014, http://www.achieve.org/Pennsylvania. Note: click on the slide deck and view Slide 17 to access the data.

Pennsylvania job openings by skill level, 2010–202058

“Middle Skill Jobs State by State: Pennsylvania,” National Skills Coalition, accessed December 9, 2014, http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/publications/file/middle-skill-fact-sheets-2014/NSC-Pennsylvania-MiddleSkillFS-2014.pdf

Conclusion

This report makes one thing clear: we must do more to help all students reach their full potential, in school and beyond. The good news is that we have more than just data. We have success stories and best practices from changing-the-odds public schools across the state, and we have educators, school administrators and policymakers dedicated to passing and implementing commonsense policies to increase academic achievement for all students. As a state, we have a long tradition of innovation and excellence and a deep, collective, unwavering commitment to our kids.

There’s just one thing we still need to take swift and comprehensive action to improve our schools: you. We need you to explore and share this report, see that meaningful gains are possible and understand that our lingering gaps must be tackled head on. We hope you will join us in our deep belief that all kids can succeed, that great schools can be the agents of change, and that it’s in our reach for the kids of today.

endnotes