School Performance Profiles (SPP) scores, originally posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) website on Oct. 13, have been updated after an error in calculations was found.

There were 625 local education agencies (LEA) in Pennsylvania that had their score changed or updated. A release on the PDE website explained that updates to the scores were required due to an "inaccurate data element provided by a contrator and used in the original calculation of 2016 SPP scores."

The release stated that the issue was discovered by a school district that noticed an issue with one of its growth measures. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the original scores excluded students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The PDE was made aware of the problem with the scores on Oct. 18.

“Communities across Pennsylvania depend on the accuracy of the data PDE provides about students and schools; there is no room for error,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said in the press release. “The Department takes issues like these very seriously and launched an aggressive response to verify and correct the data, to maintain the credibility of the department with the people we serve.”

SPPs can be found on the School Performance Profile website. Interested members of the community can search by school, district or county to learn more about LEAs in the area. Individuals are able to view information for single school buildings or districts as a whole, and can compare to other schools.

According to information on the website, building data for each school or LEA is used to calculate the academic performance score. The final academic performance score is the SPP. Users on the site can view the calculation that led to the academic score for each building.

Rivera has said in a press release that discussions are taking place to make the SPP a more holistic score for schools in the state. Currently, SPP scores rely heavily on standardized test scores.

The 2016 SPPs have been released after a break in the data last year. According to another press release, the PDE decided not to release SPP scores last year because districts were adjusting to the impacts of new PSSA core standards. This year is the first year that SPP scores will reflect student performance on the more rigorous state tests.

“The process of transitioning to the new, more rigorous PA Core Standards is ongoing, and schools, administrators and teachers have been working diligently to design curriculum, update lesson plans, and align learning tools to the new standards,” Rivera said in the release. “As these improved resources are instituted in our classrooms, student performance on the PSSA is anticipated to grow."

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