While the state Department of Education still plans to release state test results Friday, 626 schools statewide have asked the department to exclude some data from their reports until it can be corrected.
If the requests are granted, it would mean about one-fifth of the state's more than 3,000 schools will have scores released Friday that likely will change in January after the corrected data are added.
For the first time, the state is rolling out a new school performance accountability system that includes School Performance Profiles that give each school an overall building level academic score, a single number on a 100-point index, plus extra credit.
In secondary schools, a significant piece of the score is based on the results of the new Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, literature and biology. The Keystones are designed as end-of-course tests, but 11th-graders took them in 2012-13 whether it was the end of the course.
Only the end-of-course results count for the growth measurement in the academic score, and there was confusion as to how to mark the tests appropriately.
The problem does not affect the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests given in grades 3-8.
Quaker Valley superintendent Joseph Clapper said his district asked to have the growth measurement suppressed for Algebra 1 in its middle school where most students take the course. He said few students correctly marked "end-of-course." The other Keystones were given in high school where he said they were appropriately marked.
"I wish [state officials] would wait until they have everything in order and they communicate it," he said. "There's nothing worse than sending out incorrect or incomplete information to the general public and then turn around and come up four months later and republish and say, 'Here are the new numbers.'"
Last week, superintendents from around the state expressed concern at a meeting of the board of governors of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.
Jim Buckheit, executive director of the administrators group, said some superintendents chose not to exclude the data "because the rating was already a good one or the numbers of exclusions were so low it would have had a minor impact. The number of schools impacted is probably far above the 626."
The superintendents at the meeting last week informally urged the department to delay.
"Our recommendation to the secretary is that she should withhold the release until it is right," Mr. Buckheit said. "It's too important to rush out. ... It's going to mislead the public."
Tim Eller, spokesman for the state Department of Education, confirmed Tuesday the department still plans to release the results Friday.
The department had given schools until Monday to ask for any changes. A figure on how many requested other changes was not available Tuesday afternoon.
An email sent by the department to superintendents Tuesday indicated a final preview of the School Performance Profiles was expected to be available to school officials today.
Education writer Eleanor Chute: email@example.com or 412-263-1955.