Student Achievement in the Pittsburgh Public Schools

by Brian Gill, John Engberg

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Although publicly available school- and district-level test results in reading and mathematics cannot provide a definitive picture of the performance of the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), they can, when analyzed and interpreted with appropriate care, give policymakers and the public several useful reference points for beginning an assessment of student achievement in the district. In previous research, RAND analyzed student achievement results in the district through 2003. Following the state’s release of spring 2004 results on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), A+ Schools asked RAND to analyze and interpret those results, with the aim of helping the citizens of Pittsburgh understand what the state test scores mean-and what they do not mean.

The research described in this report was prepared for A+ Schools: Pittsburgh’s Community Alliance for Public Education and conducted by RAND Education.

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