Council Rock School District

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Letter to CR Community – PSSA Results

August 13, 2015

 

Dear Council Rock School Community:

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has announced a significant reduction in the statewide percentages of students scoring Proficient or Advanced on the 2014-15 Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics relative to PSSA results in previous school years.  Specifically, the table below reflects these statewide percentages for the 2014-15 PSSA assessments relative to the 2013-14 PSSA assessments.

Grade:

Reading 2013-14:

ELA
2014-15:

Difference:

Math
2013-14:

Math
2014-15:

Difference:

3

70.3%

62.1%

-8.2%

75.1%

48.5%

-26.6%

4

68.7%

58.6%

-10.1%

76.3%

44.5%

-31.8%

5

60.6%

62.0%

+1.4%

77.2%

42.8%

-34.4%

6

64.5%

59.8%

-4.7%

72.0%

39.8%

-32.2%

7

72.1%

58.3%

-13.5%

76.7%

33.1%

-43.6%

8

79.6%

58.3%

-21.3%

73.6%

29.9%

-43.7%

Average:

 

 

-9.4%

 

 

-35.4%

To illustrate, in the 2013-14 school year 70.3% of the state's third grade students scored Proficient or Advanced on the Reading/ELA assessment, whereas in 2014-15 the number declined by 8.2% to 62.1%.  Should you desire, even greater detailed information may be found on these two charts, which show the percentages in each of the four performance levels on the 2014-15 ELA and Mathematics assessments.  Additionally, you may click here for information from PDE that is specifically intended for parents.

It is important to emphasize that this drop in scores is primarily a result of three different but related factors, all of which are controlled by PDE:

 

  • The 2014-15 school year was the first time these assessments were fully aligned to the PA Core Standards; these standards exist in ELA and Mathematics and are designed to prepare students for college and career readiness upon graduation.
  • The 2014-15 school year was the first time the ELA assessment was administered.  Previously, a Reading assessment was given in grades 3-8 and a Writing assessment was given in grades 5 and 8.  The new ELA assessment, combining reading and writing, is now given in all grades 3-8. 
  • Given that both the ELA and Mathematics PSSA assessments were new, cut scores needed to be established by PDE.  This process occurred earlier this summer.

 

It is also important to share that we also expect to see significant drops in our Council Rock scores, and we will share these results with our community once we have sufficient opportunity to process and analyze them.  State standardized assessments are one tool to measure student and school performance; please see our CRSD Scorecard for other indicators of success.  We have historically performed well above state averages in all assessed subjects and grade levels on state assessments, and we expect those differentials to continue.  We will undoubtedly continue to meet individualized student needs as we provide a standards-based education, and assessment results are one indicator we will use to gauge our success.  We will also continue to work with our state legislators in an attempt to move toward a system that does not require excessive student testing and ensures that assessment results are used in ways that are fair and helpful to our students, parents, and educators. 

 

Thank you for your investment in and support of our Council Rock schools.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Robert Fraser, Superintendent of Schools




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