Twice as Many Schools in the Top Two Performance Tiers and Half as Many in the Lowest Tier as Several Years Ago, Continuing a Steady Trend

The Philadelphia School District recently released its School Progress Report (SPR), which grades every public school in the city—216 traditional public and 87 charters—on its overall performance in 2018-19 and places each of them in one of four performance tiers. Overall, schools continued their modest but steady improvement based on the district’s measurements over the past year, with more schools ranked in the top-performing tier and fewer in the bottom tier. Looking over the last five years, the steady improvement on SPR parallels similarly with the consistent progress for city schools on the state’s School Performance Profile. The number of schools in the top two tiers has grown to 127 from 61, and there are 50% fewer schools are in the lowest category—56, down from 112. As a result, nearly 40,000 students no longer attend a school in the lowest tier.

PSP portfolio schools have been part of this positive trend. For example, since 2015 Mastery Charter – Frederick Douglass Elementary School has grown 32 SPR points—it went from the lowest performance tier to only two points away from entering the second highest performance tier—and Freire Middle Charter School has grown 33 points. PSP had provided the Mastery Charter Network with a turnaround grant for Frederick Douglass and a growth grant to the Freire Charter Network to expand their middle school.

The School District also announced awards for the schools that have demonstrated three or four years of consecutive improvement on the SPR. Six of about two dozen of the biggest winners feature PhillyPLUS alumni in leadership roles—PhillyPLUS is the principal preparation program supported by PSP. This includes both district schools, such as Bache Martin Elementary School Principal Mark Vivitsky and Bregy Elementary School Principal Shakeera Warthen, and charter schools, like Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter Principal Aaron Gerwer and Mastery Charter – Grover Cleveland Elementary School Assistant Principal Lauren Teune.

Read more about the announcements on the Philadelphia Inquirer and find out more about the SPR on the District’s website.

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