Pittsburgh Public Schools

Pittsburgh Public Schools is the largest of 43 school districts in Allegheny County and second largest in Pennsylvania. We serve approximately 25,000 students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in 59 schools. In addition, Early Childhood programs serve three- and four-year-olds in classrooms across the city.

We believe that every child—at every level of academic performance—can achieve excellence. Only by focusing on what we can best control – improving performance at every level of the organization – can we honor our obligation to prepare every student to take maximum advantage of The Pittsburgh Promise ® while also preparing our public school system to be better able to thrive in an era of unprecedented competition.

Since the introduction of our Excellence for All reform agenda in 2006, we have put in place key elements to improve student achievement, including:
  • a rigorous new PreK-12 curriculum;
  • a nationally recognized program to recruit, train, support and compensate principals as instructional leaders;
  • instructional coaches in every school to deepen the work; and
  • expanded early childhood offerings so a child’s school experience gets off to a better start when transitioning to Kindergarten.

The good news is that our Excellence For All reform efforts are showing promising results for all of our children. In 2011, Pittsburgh Public Schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the second time in the past three years. Making AYP twice is a formidable accomplishment for an urban school district in just nine years since the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law in January 2002. As a result, the District will move into Making Progress status under NCLB for the 2011-12 school year. Achieving AYP means that the District met all of its targets on each of three standards – high school graduation, test participation and academic performance.

In terms of academic performance, results from the 2011 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) show that more District students are on track to Promise-Readiness as gains in reading and mathematics proficiency increased on 11 of 14 tests. The number of students performing at the advanced level increased on 10 of 14 tests, while the number of students performing below basic decreased on 13 of 14 PSSA tests.

According to Superintendent Linda Lane, the District’s overarching goal is to get students Promise-Ready and prepared for success after graduation, “We know that significant progress doesn’t happen overnight. While the PSSA results offer evidence that our efforts to improve academic performance are taking hold, we also know that the only way more of our students will become Promise-Ready is if we remain committed to our work to ensure that an effective teacher is in every classroom, every day.”

Over the past four years, the percent of students scoring proficient or advanced has increased on all 14 PSSA exams. While evidence indicates that current reforms are working, the District remains committed to being a continuous learning organization that will making adjustments based on data and results.

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