This past spring a new
PSSA was administered in Pennsylvania’s
classrooms, grades 3 through 8, in English
Language Arts and Mathematics. This assessment
was the first PSSA to be fully-aligned to the
more rigorous PA Core Standards, which the State
Board of Education adopted in fall 2013.
The PA Core Standards are intended to better
prepare commonwealth students for college and
career readiness when they graduate.
A decline in your
student’s performance level does not indicate
that he/she is learning less. Transitions take
time, including curriculum development and
resources, and the 2014-15 school year was only
year one of the new assessment. It is not useful
to directly compare students’ scores on the new
assessment to students’ scores from previous
assessments because they are aligned to
different standards. The results on the 2015
test are a snapshot in time and will set a
benchmark for future academic growth.
The process of developing
new standards and scaling scores was undertaken
with thoroughness and thoughtfulness by a
committee of Pennsylvania educators. As students
and teachers become more familiar with the new
standards, and more resources are directed at
transitioning to the new standards, students
will experience steady academic growth.
Results on standardized
tests are not the sole indicator of student
achievement. Students have different strengths
and flourish in different ways. It is important
to evaluate students in a holistic manner, using
a variety of performance measures.
You can help your
child(ren) grow academically by reviewing their
PSSA results with them and by continuing to
encourage them to do their best in school.