Press Releases

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:44 PM

As PDE prepares for the fall 2014 release of the School Performance Profile (SPP), it is important that all parties are up to date with contact information, timeline and data elements for the data review cycle. On May 22, 2014, districts will be receiving an email that will request your attention regarding the following.

1. LEAs must ensure that contact information for each local education agency (LEA) superintendent, career and technical center director and chief executive officer is current. Future correspondence associated with the release of the 2013-14 SPP will be directed to the email address we have on file for each LEA superintendent, career and technical center director and chief executive officer. If you anticipate that this contact information will change, please notify when this change takes place. (Note: If you have a change in contact information, be sure to make the change in EdNA as well.) In addition, please ensure the email address is not blocked by your email security system as this email address will be the originating (sending) email address for all future SPP correspondence.

2. The timeline outlining milestones associated with the release of the 2013-14 School Performance Profile (SPP) will be attached to the email. Please note that the first major review period is July 1-21, 2014 (Phase I data).

3. A template that will identify each data element by phase and data source will be attached to the email.  LEAs are encouraged to begin compiling applicable documents (Accuracy Certification Statements, Cognos reports, SAT/ACT reports, etc.) in preparation for the actual review phase. Specific instructions on accessing the data review site, via your secure access link, as well as completing the actual review will be provided when you receive your 2013-14 access links (on or before June 30, 2014, for Phase I).

Please direct any questions to


Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:14 AM

Updates have been made to the Comprehensive Planning Tool in order for districts to fulfill the obligations included in Chapter 16 of the Pennsylvania Code (22 Pa Code §16) regarding the Gifted Education plan.

a. Core Foundations - Safe and Supportive Schools

1.  22 Pa Code §16.4. Strategic plans. Describe your districts screening and evaluation protocols for gifted education.

2.  22 Pa Code §16.4. Strategic plans. Describe the gifted programs* being offered.

*The word "programs" refers to the continuum of services, not one particular option. The requirements for a student's Gifted Individualized Education Plan can be found in the Pennsylvania Code (22 Pa Code §16.32)

b. Core Foundations - Professional Education

1.  22 Pa Code §16.5. personnel. (c) A school district and intermediate unit shall provide, under section 1205.1 of Pennsylvania School Code (24 P.S. § 12-1205.1), in-service training for gifted and regular teachers, principals, administrators and support staff persons responsible for gifted education.

Questions about the Comprehensive Planning Tool should be addressed to Jill Neuhard, Comprehensive Planning Statewide Project Manager at the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (IU 15) at

Questions about the Gifted Education Plan should be addressed to Tanya Morret, Educational Consultant at the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (IU 15) at

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 8:37 AM

The polls are open -- get out and vote today!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 8:27 AM

At its recent meeting, the State Board of Education heard an update from Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) staff on the department’s continuing efforts to implement a new system for evaluation for principals and nonteaching professionals. Under the system, “principals” include building principals, assistant principals, vice principals or a director of vocational education. “Nonteaching professional employees” include educational specialists, professional employees holding certificates who are not assigned classroom teacher or principal positions and administrative and supervisory employees.

PDE is preparing to publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin its rating tool in the coming weeks. The tool will include the educator rating form and instructions, and will be included under the Chapter 19 regulations that were established last year for the evaluation of classroom teachers. Act 82 of 2012 requires PDE to create and publish the rating tool by June 30, 2013. According to PDE, the rating form will function as the framework for the evaluation process. Final approval of the tool will be completed on a fast-track course that exempts it from the regulatory review requirements and review by the state attorney general. However, the document must be approved by the governor’s office of general counsel, budget office and policy office prior to publication.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, May 19, 2014.

Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:21 AM

The Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Joseph H. Clapper as the assistant executive director. Dr. Clapper brings more than 30 years in public education to our association.  

Dr. Clapper will retire this summer from the Quaker Valley School District, Sewickley, Pa., as superintendent of schools. He has held that position since 2007. Prior to this position, he served as superintendent of schools in the North Hills School District in Pittsburgh, and as the assistant superintendent of Quaker Valley School District. He also has experience as a high school and elementary school principal, assistant principal, supervisor of instruction, elementary teacher and secondary English/reading teacher.   

Dr. Clapper is scheduled to begin his duties at PA Principals Association in August, which will include advocacy work for the association; providing assistance to members via professional advice and referring legal matters, where appropriate; and assisting with professional development needs for members. Welcome aboard!!

Click here for more. 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:42 AM

The Public School Code (24 P. S. § 16-1601-C) requires the disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities for all public secondary school entities in Pennsylvania. From this year forward, we will also collect all non-school funds given to athletic teams.

All public school entities with grades 7-12 are required to annually collect data concerning team and financial information for all male and female athletes. School entities must collect the 2013-14 school year data and submit the information to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). 

The statutorily-imposed deadline for public school entities to report this information is Oct. 15, 2014. 

PDE has posted the Final Interscholastic Athletic Opportunities Disclosure Form on it’s website at services office/9153/disclosure of interscholastic athletic opportunities/1419362. Public school entities must use the disclosure form to report the required information through PIMS by Oct. 15, 2014.

Beginning with this 2013-14 school year, all non-school funds given to athletic teams (booster club, gifts, alumni contributions and purchases) must also be reported. 

Please note that public school entities are required to post their disclosure forms on their website and make the forms available to the public no later than November 1 of each year.

PDE is required to post all submitted disclosure forms on its website. In addition, the department will include the information submitted on the disclosure forms in an annual report, which will be provided to the General Assembly by January 15 of each year.

If you have any questions, please email

Friday, May 9, 2014 3:39 PM

From Carolyn C. Dumaresq, Acting Secretary, PDE: Since 2011, approximately 8,000 students who already scored proficient on a Keystone Exam were inappropriately retested. Under Chapter 4 (22 Pa. Code § 4.51) (D) Keystone Exams, it states, "A STUDENT WHO HAS ACHIEVED A SCORE OF PROFICIENT OR ADVANCED ON A KEYSTONE SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO RETAKE THE EXAM."  This practice is not only prohibited by the regulation, but it also results in additional costs to the Commonwealth.  To ensure that LEAs are in compliance with Chapter 4 regulations, and to save the commonwealth unnecessary expenses, please take measures to ensure this practice is halted. Communicate this policy to all staff involved in the administration of the Keystone Exams.

In order to maintain equity in the School Performance Profile (SPP) calculations, scores for any initially proficient student who was retested will be capped at the proficient level for accountability purposes beginning with the 2014 SPP.  This action will prevent any LEA from having an unfair advantage when it comes time to calculate the SPP score.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 11:40 AM

Teachscape Focus (formerly Teachscape Framework for Teaching Proficiency System) is an online professional development course that assists evaluators in honing their skills in collecting evidence during classroom observations, applying that evidence to the Danielson Framework for Teaching, providing actionable feedback to teachers, and determining the final overall performance rating in each domain.

The course has three components: a deep-dive into the domains and components of the Danielson Framework; scoring practice opportunities to apply these skills with classroom videos; and a proficiency assessment. The course requires approximately 20-25 hours to complete.

As a part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) commitment to providing support to evaluators, this course will provide additional training in the best practices for the Teacher Observation and Practice component, a part of the new teacher evaluation system in effect as of July 1, 2013. This one-time opportunity, at no cost, focuses on increasing inter-rater reliability to promote consistency and fairness for the evaluation process. Finally, upon successful completion of the course, 30 PA Inspired Leaders (PIL) hours will be earned and recorded in PDE's system.

If you are an administrator who is required to evaluate professional staff in the Teacher Observation and Practice component of the new teacher evaluation system, are using the Danielson Framework for Teaching model, and have not previously received a license, then you are encouraged to request a license. This will be the last opportunity to apply for a license.

To request a license, you must complete one of the two surveys using the appropriate link:

Public LEAs (districts, public charter schools, IUs)

Non-Public Schools

The survey is open May 7-21, 2014. We are asking each applicant to personally complete the survey.

PDE expects the participant to activate the license within 30 days of notification and to complete the entire program during the life of the license, which expires one year from date of notification.


Monday, May 5, 2014 2:24 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be offering training on the 2014 Attributions for Federal and State Accountability Reporting. This training will use the 2014 Attribution Map, discuss the Data Recognition Corporation Attribution window in eDIRECT, and the impact these attributions have on federal and state accountability and teacher effectiveness.

The 2014 Attribution Map can be downloaded from PDE’s website at

There will be four sessions of the 2014 Attributions for Federal and State Accountability Reporting training webinar. The training will consist of presenters from PDE’s Divisions of Performance Analysis and Reporting and Data Quality, along with Data Recognition Corporation. Please select the link that uniquely identifies the date and time you will attend.

May 12, 2014 from 10 a.m. – Noon

May 12, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

May 13, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

May 13, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Please contact PDE’s Bureau of Assessment and Accountability with any questions at 717-705-2343 or

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:09 AM

Dr. Melissa (Missie) Patschke was recently elected to the position of Director for Zone 2 on the National Association of Elementary School Principals' (NAESP) Board of Directors. Dr. Patschke serves as principal of Upper Providence Elementary School, Royersford, Pa., and as an ex-officio member of the PA Principals Association Board of Directors. Zone 2 includes New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Congratulations, Missie!

Patschke photo

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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890