February 3 — 11:30 am, 2010

How does your school rank?

The School District has made available on the Web its School Performance Index (SPI) rankings for every school in the District, rating the schools on a scale of 1 to 10.

Schools in the top decile in the District are assigned a rank of 1, while the lowest-performers, those in the bottom decile, have a rank of 10.

The District used the overall SPI ranking to determine which schools would be on its Renaissance Eligible and Renaissance Alert lists. Those two lists comprise all the schools with an overall ranking of 10.

The 14 Renaissance Eligible Schools are the schools that are potentially slated for overhaul this year – schools that have already been getting extra supports as Empowerment Schools but still scored in the bottom decile. The 12 Alert Schools also were ranked 10, but were not previously receiving extra supports.

Each school also receives a ranking showing how it stands in relation to 10 similar comparison schools. Those ranks did not factor into the Renaissance School assignments, but District Chief Accountability Officer David Weiner noted that no school with an overall SPI rank of 10 scored better than an 8 on the comparative ranking.

The performance index weighs multiple measures to rank the schools – including not only indicators of PSSA performance, but also student progress and indicators of school satisfaction. 

The weights are also described in a PowerPoint presentation prepared by the District.

The Notebook has just requested a more detailed breakdown for schools, including the raw composite score for schools on the School Performance Index and the individual scores from which they were derived, so that it is possible to see why schools fell where they did in the rankings. We’ll keep you posted on the response to that request.

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