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TASD listed on Pennsylvania academic outperformers list

Tyrone Area School District has been recognized as one of 47 Pennsylvania school districts to achieve the status of academic “outperformers.”
The designation comes from Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services.
According to a press release from the firm, for a district to be identified as an outperformer by Standard & Poor’s, school districts had to report significantly higher percentages of students that scored proficient or above on state reading and math tests than other school districts with similar levels of student poverty in Pennsylvania over two school years.
The release noted academic achievement levels were compared with percentage of economically disadvantaged students because they are often correlated.
“We congratulate the students, teachers, administrators and, indeed, the entire communities that support public education in these districts,” said William Cox, executive managing director of Standard & Poor’s School Evaluation Services. “The data we analyzed show that these 47 school districts had truly noteworthy performances; each district deserves public recognition for its efforts.”
Standard & Poor’s said it developed the analysis used to identify outperforming school districts as a way to highlight outstanding academic performance, and to help educators in school districts with similar demographics identify appropriate benchmarks to guide their own improvements.
Tyrone Area School superintendent Dr. Miller reacted to the news by saying, “Obviously we are most pleased our students have, in fact, outperformed students in other districts…in reading and math proficiency.
“The actual number of students that are economically disadvantaged is 37.5 percent of the population and our score of proficiency and above is 63.4 percent,” said Miller. “This is certainly a tribute to the work and commitment of our students taking these tests. We have some outstanding staff who have made a difference in all areas across the curriculum.”
Miller said he particularly appreciated the efforts of those in the math and English departments. He noted students had also done well on writing tests. Dr. Miller also recognized the efforts of the administration and to the school board for being “committed to the tests.”
Miller also said, “Students comment they have had a very strong education in reading, writing and math and they feel they have been very well prepared to take the PSSA tests.”
He said the student feedback came from surveys completed by graduating seniors in the district.
Standard & Poor’s noted that achieving proficiency in reading and math for all students by 2014 is a goal of the No Child Left Behind law. Data provided by the state of Pennsylvania was used to compile “outperformers” list. The number of economically disadvantaged students in each school district is determined by the percentage of students receiving free or reduced price lunch. Academic performance was determined by using the aggregate percentages of students scoring proficient or better on the state’s reading and math tests.
Other Blair County school districts making the list were Altoona Area and Claysburg-Kimmel.
The data used in the analysis covers the 2001-02 and 02-03 school year.