PDE Initiatives

The need for districts to focus on continuous improvement is supported by the Standards Aligned System (SAS). Whether or not a district has made adequate yearly progress (AYP), support and guidance from IU professionals in utilization of SAS and other school improvement strategies promote increased student achievement. To support the Statewide System of Support throughout the Commonwealth, IU 18 dedicates personnel to deliver services centered on the PDE goals defined below. PDE requires that IU 18 identifies a coordinator for the initiative and personnel who will be engaged in the project; IU 18 also reports the level of training for each initiative and verifies demonstration of capacity as related to the PDE initiatives.

Common Core

Professional Development opportunities to support districts throughout the transition to the Common Core/PA Common Core Standards.

Comprehensive Planning

Assists all Phases of District/School Level Planning, CTC Level Planning, and Charter School Level Planning
Training and consultation can include the following, at the discretion of the asking entity:

  • Provide technical assistance in defining root cause, guiding districts in addressing achievement goals, and drafting a school improvement plan
  • Provide updates on the school improvement cycle and related requirements.
  • Provide consultation and technical assistance through data analysis to identify priority needs.
  • Provide supports for implementation of chosen evidence-based strategies.
  • Identify effectiveness of best practice strategies in member schools and facilitate forums to share throughout IU districts.
  • Assist schools/districts in implementing, monitoring, and evaluating action sequences focused on student achievement (minimum mid and end of year review with each LEA).

Data Analysis

As determined by the member district, school or CTC needs assessment, IU personnel can deliver services on an IU-wide or district/school specific level. Services could include any of the following:

  • Provide overview session(s) on eMetric, PAAYP, PVAAS, and School Performance Profile to district/building administrators and regular/special teachers.
  • Integrate the use of eMetric, PVAAS, and School Performance Profile into the IU’s offerings of professional development and technical assistance services as appropriate.
  • Provide consultation and technical assistance to LEAs through data analysis (and use of eMetric, PAAYP, PVAAS, School Performance Profile, to identify root cause and priority needs.
  • Provide training to educators in using eMetric, PAAYP, PVAAS, and School Performance Profile, to support effective instruction and to improve teaching and learning.
  • Support LEAs on the integration of eMetric, PAAYP, PVAAS, and School Performance Profile, as tools for planning and instructional improvement.
  • Provide training and technical assistance on specific topics such as: eMetric and PVAAS applications to specific programs, Classroom Diagnostic Tool Training, development of S Professional Learning Communities, use of School Performance Profile scores in aligning and addressing achievement goals.
  • Identify effectiveness of best practice strategies in member schools and facilitate forums to share throughout the IU districts.

Educator Effectiveness

Two decades of research have consistently told us that teachers matter more to student learning than any other in-school factor. Improving the effectiveness of teachers is critical to student success, as well as creating safe, nurturing school environments based on the premise of high expectations for all. Through the Educator Effectiveness Project, Pennsylvania is actively engaged in improving teaching and learning by implementing better teacher, educational specialist, and principal evaluation systems and providing these professionals with the feedback they need to improve their practice.
Districts/schools can choose any or all training opportunities below:

  • Teacher Effectiveness
  • Principal Effectiveness
  • Specialists’ Tool Training
  • Student Learning Objectives

For more information regarding PDE’s Educator Effectiveness Project, please visit:

Keystone Exams and Keystone Project Based Assessments

Keystone Exams:

  • The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in various subjects. During the 2012-2013 school year the following Keystone Exams will be available: Algebra I, Literature and Biology. In future years, pending funding, additional Keystone Exams will be administered.
  • The Keystone Exams are one component of Pennsylvania’s proposed system of high school graduation requirements. Keystone Exams will help school districts guide students toward meeting state standards.

Keystone Project Based Assessments:

  • Training and consultation related to PDE guidelines and Chapter 4 requirements in conjunction with the Keystone Exams.