HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Education today released the results of the 2011 Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) administered in the spring.
More than 2.6 million tests were completed by students across the state.
Statewide, 77.1 percent of the 938,000 students tested in math scored proficient or advanced; 73.5 percent of the 936,000 students tested in reading scored proficient or advanced; 75 percent of the 393,000 students tested in writing scored proficient or advanced; and 60.9 percent of the 399,000 students tested in science scored proficient or advanced.
In comparison, test results in 2010 indicated 76.3 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in math; 72 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in reading; 72.6 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in writing; and 59.4 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in science.
As required by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the PSSA is Pennsylvania's statewide standards-based assessment administered in grades 3 through 8 and 11. Based on test results, students are identified as performing in one of four levels: advanced, proficient, basic or below basic.
The goal is for all students to be proficient or advanced by 2014 – meaning that they have mastered Pennsylvania's assessment content standards at their grade level.
Individual student scores are used by administrators and teachers to identify students in need of additional educational assistance, as well as provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement.
A school or district's performance on statewide math and reading assessments is the primary factor in determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which is also required under NCLB. Student participation and attendance/graduation rate are also factors in making this determination.
Performance targets for AYP increased this year from 56 percent to 67 percent in math, and 63 percent to 72 percent in reading.
Out of the state's 499 school districts that administer the PSSA, 467, or 93.5 percent, made AYP. Of the 3,096 school buildings in Pennsylvania, including charter schools and comprehensive career and technology centers, 2,326 schools, or 75.1 percent, made AYP.
The PSSA science exam is completed in grades 4, 8 and 11, and the writing exam is completed in grades 5, 8 and 11; however, neither is used to determine AYP.
Media Contact: Tim Eller, 717-783-9802
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education