- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 2, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania has unveiled a new plan to track the performance of its 1.7 million students that includes a broader measurement of academic success.

The state Department of Education released a draft of the proposal Wednesday that conforms to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2ukJoWP ) reports the law was passed in 2015 to replace the No Child Left Behind law, which critics said focused too much on standardized testing.

The Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to submit plans on how to measure student performance.

The new Pennsylvania plan provides students with a holistic education, moving schools away from focusing primarily on English, math and science, said Matthew Stem, a deputy secretary at the department.

Pennsylvania’s proposal includes shorter statewide assessment exams and creates a “dashboard” approach to school report cards by factoring in such things as chronic absenteeism and participation in Advance Placement courses.

The earlier School Performance Profile scores were based largely on standardized testing.

A longer-term goal for the state is to increase the number of students graduating from high school in four years from about 85 percent to 92 percent by 2030. It also wants to increase enrollment in career and technical education programs.

The plan will be available for public comment through Aug. 31.

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