SDP's Goals and Guardrails

What are the District’s Goals and Guardrails

In 2020-21, the School District of Philadelphia’s Board of Education released a five-year plan intended to “set clear expectations for what our students must know and be able to do,” including guidelines designed to “rigorously monitor our progress toward achieving our goals.” The Board will monitor each Goal and its leading indicators three times per year and each Guardrail and its leading indicator once per year.

The Goal or Guardrail currently under review is in green below.

Board Goals

1. The percentage of students in grades 3-8 who are proficient on the state ELA assessment will grow from 35.7% in August 2019 to 65.0% by August 2026.
2. The percentage of 3rd grade students who are proficient on the state ELA assessment will grow from 32.5% in August 2019 to 62.0% by August 2026.

Click here for July 2021 Board materials related to Goals 1 and 2.

Research Reports Related to Goals 1 & 2

3. The percentage of students in grades 3-8 who are proficient on the state Math assessment will grow from 21.6% in August 2019 to 52.0% by August 2026.

Click here for August 2021 Board materials related to Goal 3.

Click here for February 2021 Board materials related to Goal 3.

Research Reports Related to Goal 3

4. The percentage of students who are proficient on all three state high school assessments (Algebra, Literature, and Biology) by the end of their 11th grade year will grow from 26.1% in August 2019 to 52.0% by August 2026.

Click here for April 2021 materials related to Goal 4.

5. The percentage of Career and Technical Education (CTE) students who pass an industry standards-based competency assessment by the end of their 12th grade year will grow from 54.5% in August 2019 to 80.0% in August 2026.

Click here for June 2021 materials related to Goal 5.

Research Reports Related to Goals 4 & 5

We support these Board goals by collecting data on leading indicators, including the percentage of students reading on grade level, the percentage of students performing on grade level in math, graduation rates, matriculation rates, and the percentage of English learners meeting or exceeding their individual progress goals. This information is compiled in the annual Accountability Framework (coming soon), a tool used to track school- and District-level progress, and it is also available on our School Profiles, an interactive tool designed to increase the public accessibility of the data.

Board Guardrails

Every school will be a safe, welcoming and healthy place where our students, staff and community want to be and learn each day. This means that our schools will be: 1) environmentally safe and clean; and 2) spaces with inclusive climates that provide students with access to robust social, emotional, and mental health supports.

Every student will have a well-rounded education with co-curricular opportunities, including arts and athletics, integrated into the school experience.

Every parent and guardian will be welcomed and encouraged to be partners in their child’s school community.

Our students’ potential will not be limited by practices that perpetuate systemic racism and hinder student achievement.

Click here for May 2021 materials related to Guardrail 4.

We support the Board’s guardrails by including measures of equity in growth by student group on the Annual Accountability Framework. We also administer the District-Wide Survey, which gathers feedback from students, teachers, principals, and parents/guardians about key topics related to school improvement, including climate (Guardrails 1 and 2) and parent/guardian community ties (Guardrail 3). We are also committed to examining issues of equity and anti-racism in our reports and briefs, which provide timely and actionable analyses of school- and District-level data.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are leading indicators?

SDP has developed research-based leading indicators for each Goal and Guardrail that will indicate progress over the five-year period. These will be included in monthly Progress Monitoring Reports presented to the Board, and they will also be included in the District’s Annual Accountability Framework (coming soon).

What is the Board's approach to progress monitoring?

Decision-making will center around four lines of inquiry:

Who? Are we progressing toward the goals as expected? Which schools are on-track? Which are near-track? Which are off-track?
What? Which circumstances surrounded the data for struggling and excelling students?
Why? Which events, decisions, or activities help describe what happened?
How? Which changes will the Leadership Team make based on the data?

How does the division of Evaluation, Research, and Accountability (ERA) support the District's Goals and Guardrails?

The five ERA offices cooperate to collect, store, analyze, secure, and leverage the utility of student-, school-, and District-level data, including the Board’s leading indicators.

How else can the public access information about schools and leading indicators?

Our Open Data project includes longitudinal data sets spanning various operational school and student performance areas.