PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The results of an annual report, evaluating Pittsburgh Public Schools, has been released.

The data shows some improvements as well as areas that still need a lot of work.

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The detailed report was produced by A+ Schools, which is an independent, non-profit community advocate for educational equity and excellence in Pittsburgh’s Public Schools.

“It is really important that we have a public that is committed to a quality public school system and we have to be able to monitor progress over time and we need to be looking at common, accessible information to do that. So, this report really aims to provide that service to residents and taxpayers in the city,” A+ Schools Executive Director Carey Harris said.

The study breaks down information school by school and overall.

Like years past, this year, there were positives and negatives.

On the positive side, the district graduation rate increased by eight percentage points to 77 percent overall.

“We really thank our staff, our principals, and parents frankly, because that’s a community school-wide effort and to see some positive news there was great,” Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane said.

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Other district-wide highlights:

41 percent of students enrolled in one or more AP courses, which is 26 percent more than in 2012.

96 percent of teachers performed at the proficient or distinguished level.

As for the negatives, suspensions and absenteeism continue to be big problems.

“Chronic absenteeism is about 43 percent of high school students missing 10 percent of days or more, that’s significant,” Harris said.

“It doesn’t matter how good the teachers are. If the kids aren’t there, it’s all for naught. So, the chronic absenteeism for me is still one of the major efforts we’re going to have to make,” Dr. Lane said.

People in the community and especially parents, are encouraged to take a really good look at this report.

A copy is being sent to all parents in the city school district. You can also find the report in libraries, city schools, and also on the A+ Schools website here: http://www.aplusschools.org/2014-report/

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