Want to explore how your local public school system or school performed on the statewide benchmark test, the ACT Aspire?
Using Aspire results, PARCA works with local school systems to analyze performance, building comparisons with similar systems and with the state as a whole. In grades 3-8, students are tested in reading, math, and science. In 10th grade, the tested subjects are English, math, and science. Our key metric is the percentage of students tested who score proficient on a particular test. By scoring at or above proficient, a student is considered to be “on track” for his or her grade level. Students who stay on track should be able to succeed on the college readiness test, the ACT. A student meeting or exceeding the benchmark on the ACT is judged to be ready for success in college.
While systems are often judged on the test results generated by “all students” taking the test, it is important to look deeper at comparisons of how the various subgroups of students perform. Students from low-income backgrounds, as a group, don’t perform as well on these types of tests as students from more higher-income backgrounds. Thus, a school system’s performance should be judged in context. Are nonpoverty students in a school performing as well as nonpoverty students elsewhere? How do the results for poverty students compare to results generated by other systems?
New for 2015 is the ability to compare a school or system’s performance with its results from 2014. Did a school or system improve performance from one year to the next?
The interactive charts below allow you to build your own comparisons between peer schools and systems. Are students in your school succeeding at the same rate as those in the comparison schools? Tabs at the top of the chart allow you to look at the data in various ways.
If you dive deep in the data, you may notice that there are some schools and systems that don’t display results on some measures. There are a couple of reasons for this. In some circumstances, the tested population for that measure is very small. In that case, the State Department of Education doesn’t release results in order to protect student privacy. A second reason data might not be available has to do with the way schools and systems identify poverty students. Traditionally, students who were eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches under the National School Lunch program were identified as students in poverty. In recent years, schools and systems with higher concentrations of poverty have had the option of providing free lunches to all students. In those schools and systems, all students are identified as poverty students. This leaves us unable to compare the performance of poverty and nonpoverty students in those schools.