The honor comes after Reading High School was one of 17 schools named as a Reward High Progress School during the 2014-15 school year. That designation is given to the top 5 percent of all Title I schools in Pennsylvania.
“When teachers, students, administrators and our wonderful community come together, we are unstoppable,” Principal Eric Turman said. “This recognition is for the City of Reading. We love our city and we will continue the good fight as we continue to strive to be the best.”
The designation is based on the high school continually improving its PSSA scores (Math and Reading) scores and Keystone Exam scores (Algebra I, Biology and Literature) among all students, as well as students included in historically underperforming groups during the past three years.
For example, PSSA/Keystone scores in literature have increased to 63 percent during the past four years, while math scores have increased to 58 percent.
In addition, to be eligible for the designation, the high school had to meet all four Annual Measurable Objectives set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, including:
- Student participation on the math and reading PSSA exams and the algebra I, biology and literature Keystone Exams for all students;
- Student graduation or attendance rate for all students;
- Closing the achievement gap of all students – reducing the number of students who score below proficient on the PSSA, Keystone Exams and the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) by 50 percent over a six-year period; and
- Closing the achievement gap of historically underperforming students – reducing the number of students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged and English language learners who score below proficient on the PSSA, Keystone Exams and the PASA by 50 percent over a six-year period.
The designation is the latest in a string of good news about academics at Reading High School, Turman added.
The high school graduation rate has increased from 53 percent to 71 percent during the past four years, he said. Of the Class of 2015, 89 percent of graduates planned to pursue post-secondary education, including college, technical/trade/vocational school or the Armed Forces, and 10 percent of graduates attained full-time employment with Berks County companies. Based on scores from last school year’s Advanced Placement tests, the high school had nine AP Scholars, one AP Scholar with Distinction and one National AP Scholar.
In addition, Reading High School's SPP score increased by 5 points, according to results released last month by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The high school's SPP score increased from 60.2 to 65.2 percent as the district moves closer to surpassing the state's 70 percent benchmark. The increase also means Reading High is no longer ranked last in SPP scores among Berks County school districts.
“It’s an exciting time in our district, as we continue to focus on and improve academics, particularly at the high school,” Dr. Khalid Mumin, superintendent, said. “This is hard work, but it’s rewarding work. I congratulate our students and staff on their success and earning this designation.”