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Annual schools report shows academic achievement down locally, across state

Tribune-Review
| Monday, November 17, 2014 9:13 a.m

An annual report on the state of Pittsburgh Public Schools showed academic achievement declined in the district and across the state.

District watchdog group A+ Schools released its 10th “Report to the Community” early Monday, which highlights trends and progress at each school.

The decline was not as steep this year in math and reading than in previous school years, spokesman James Fogarty said. Pittsburgh standardized test scores improved overall.

“We know readers are as curious as we are about what contributes to gains as well as persistent low achievement in our schools,” the report said. “There is no single answer.”

Schools vary widely in academic performance, and the achievement gap between black and white students decreased slightly since 2006.

Graduation rates increased between 2011 and 2013 by 8 percentage points. The percentage of students enrolled in advanced courses increased 26 percentage points between 2012 and 2014.

The percentage of students whose grade point averages qualify for the Pittsburgh Promise, which offers college scholarships to all Pittsburgh Public graduates, declined for the third year in a row.

The report showed the district, though significantly smaller than in years past, is more ethnically diverse and catering to many more low-income families.

Pittsburgh Public shrank from 84 schools in 2004 to 56 this year and serves about 8,000 fewer children, according to the report.

Enrollment dropped 12 percent since 2010 in high schools. Middle and elementary school enrollment decreased less than 4 percent each.

To view the full report, visit aplusschools.org .

Megan Harris is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

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