High School Academic Score Comparisons

paschoolperformanceAs promised in October, now with the update of the School Performance Profile website, I will begin making additional comparisons from SPP information, starting with High Schools. I included in this list neighboring Pequea Valley and Solanco High Schools, from Lancaster County.

The first look is a full break down, sorted by highest to lowest scoring. This is then followed by smaller lists that compare High Schools with the highest numbers of Economically Disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and Special Education students.

High School			   Academic Score
Downingtown STEM Academy		101.4
Unionville HS (Unionville-Chadds Ford)	97.9
Great Valley HS				97.6
West Chester Henderson HS		95.7
Downingtown Area HS East		95.5
Conestoga SHS (Tredyffrin/Easttown)	95.5
West Chester Bayard Rustin HS		94.3
Downingtown Area HS West		93.0
West Chester East HS			91.1
Kennett HS				88.9
Owen J. Roberts HS			87.9
Avon Grove HS				83.5
Pequea Valley HS (Lancaster County)	82.7
Phoenixville Area HS			74.4
Oxford Area HS				72.9
Octorara Area JSHS			72.2
Solanco HS (Lancaster County)		71.6
Coatesville Area SHS			65.0

Highest Economically Disadvantaged
This list includes all High Schools with a percentage of Economically Disadvantaged Students greater than 25%.

High School			   Academic Score      Econ Dis
Kennett HS				88.9		29.82%
Pequea Valley HS (Lancaster County)	82.7		30.26%
Oxford Area HS				72.9		36.09%
Octorara Area JSHS			72.2		33.39%
Solanco HS (Lancaster County)		71.6		32.58%
Coatesville Area SHS			65.0		48.98%

Highest English Language Learners
Included here are High Schools that have a percentage of English Language Learners greater than 1%.

High School			   Academic Score    Eng Lrners
West Chester Henderson HS		95.7		1.53%
West Chester East HS			91.1		1.81%
Kennett HS				88.9		9.03%
Avon Grove HS				83.5		2.35%
Phoenixville Area HS			74.4		1.07%
Oxford Area HS				72.9		3.22%
Coatesville Area SHS			65.0		1.78%

Highest Special Education
Below are the High Schools with a percentage of Special Education Students greater than 15%.

High School			   Academic Score      Spec Ed
Conestoga SHS (Tredyffrin/Easttown)	95.5		15.02%
Kennett HS				88.9		15.42%
Coatesville Area SHS			65.0		16.32%
Owen J. Roberts HS			87.9		16.78%
Octorara Area JSHS			72.2		16.97%
Downingtown Area HS East		95.5		18.29%
Downingtown Area HS West		93.0		20.26%
Oxford Area HS				72.9		33.55%

Conclusions
The argument against comparing Octorara to all other Chester County schools is always that it is not comparing apples to apples. Octorara has obvious challenges that the Unionville-Chadds Ford Area School District just does not have.

From the Pennsylvania School Performance data, the High Schools that look the most like Octorara are Oxford Area High School and Solanco High School (Lancaster County), with Kennett High School and Pequea Valley High School (Lancaster County) coming real close. Kennett has their own unique challenges with, by far, the largest number of English Language Learners in Chester County.

Where Oxford Area High School stands out is that their percentage of Special Education Students is roughly twice that of Octorara, and their number of English Language Learners is more than 3 times that of Octorara. Yet, the Oxford Area High School is achieving a similar SPP Score.

Chester County Averages (for High Schools)*

  • SPP Score – 86.7
  • Economically Disadvantaged – 18.14%
  • English Language Learners – 1.53%
  • Special Education – 14.58%

In the discussion of return on investment, we talk about the cost per-student vs performance scores. I believe somewhere in the discussion should be the cost per-student for each performance point. Does that make sense?

* Special Note: This was mistakenly labeled. The averages contain each of the High Schools within the CCIU, plus the two Lancaster County Districts noted.

One thought on “High School Academic Score Comparisons

  1. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe we pay the highest per-student school taxes in the county. Yet student performance is clearly way down on the list. Mr. Alexander asserts, rightly I think, that “Octorara has obvious challenges,” by which I assume he means a lower socio-economic profile, less engaged parents, etc. All that may be true. Even so, for the money we pay, the return on investment is, shall we say, disappointing. May I suggest that there might be something else at work here; i.e. an inadequate culture of achievement, of winning.

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