A Northwest take on the recently-released Pa. school performance index

     Students file into Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane on the first day of school in Sept. (Brad Larrison/for NewsWorks, file)

    Students file into Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane on the first day of school in Sept. (Brad Larrison/for NewsWorks, file)

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently released a spreadsheet that lists the academic progress of every public school in the state. 

    The School Profile Performance index is largely based on standardized test scores, but also accounts for metrics such as attendance and graduation rates.

    Each school is given a score from 0 to 100. Hitting 70 is considered the state’s benchmark for a school headed in the right direction.

    In Philadelphia, Central, Carver and Masterman High Schools had the highest SPP scores, each eclipsing 90.

    A look at the Northwest

    In the Northwest, marks among charter and traditional public schools were more of a mixed bag.

    The average score was just north of 60. Only a quarter of the schools reached or passed the state’s benchmark.

    Green Woods Charter School in Manayunk took the top spot with an 83.8. That’s a bit lower than the school’s last SPP score. Still, CEO Jean Wallace couldn’t be happier. The school has added roughly 200 students last school year.

    “Maintaining the consistency was key for us and we did that. So we’re thrilled,” said Wallace.

    Others, like Principal William Wade, who heads Martin Luther King High School in West Oak Lane, has less to be excited about.

    The school scored a 39.4. Only Roosevelt Elementary, now King’s main feeder school, had a lower mark.

    Wade, for his part, is confident that the school’s score will improve, if incrementally. He said daily attendance, for example, is now at 85 percent, a 10-point bump over this time last school year.

    “My work tells me that optimism is not blind. I push every day. I don’t leave without measuring every day,” said Wade.

    Still, he said doesn’t expect MLK to become a Masterman or a Central, both admissions high schools, anytime soon.

    “Will we ever be a vanguard school? I don’t think so. But we’re working,” said Wade.

    Below is a complete list of SPP scores in Northwest Philadelphia:

    Green Woods Charter School – 83.80
    Mastery – Picket Campus – 79.50
    Mastery – Pastorius – 62.1
    Hill-Freedman – 78.20
    Wissahickon Charter School – 76.70
    Imani Educational Circle Charter School – 59. 2
    Imhotep Institute Charter High School – 49.5
    Khepera Charter School – 64.0
    New Media Technology Charter School – 43.7
    Amy Northwest – 70.3
    Cook-Wissahickon – 70.5
    A.B. Day School – 61.9
    Dobson – 73.5
    Emlen – 53.3
    Henry – 71.4
    Houston – 55.0
    Jenks – 65.3
    John B. Kelly – 64.2
    Martin Luther King – 39.4
    Lankenau – 60.6
    Lingelbach – 56.6
    McCloskey – 66.4
    Mifflin – 62.5
    Parkway Northwest 48.2
    Pennell – 40.4
    Roosevelt – 31.8
    Roxborough H.S. – 43.3
    Saul – 61.6
    Shawmont – 65.7
    Wister 54.3

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.