Please find below a collection of documents relating to PSSA Results, the New Test standards, Scoring statewide, and ESEA Waivers. This set of documents is posted to help inform parents and students about the new tests, PA Core, Clarion Area, and 2014-2015 results statewide.
Introduction from our Superintendent:
Clarion Area School District
Dear Parent/Concerned Adult:
Families in our district have recently received or should soon receive the individual student results from the 2015 PSSA, our state assessment test given in grades 3 through 8 each year. We have posted some materials on our webpage to assist you in understanding these reports. In addition, I would like to provide you some information regarding these tests and changes at the state level impacting these tests.
The State Board of Education took two significant actions that impact the results of the state test. First, the State Board adopted more challenging academic standards in Spring 2013 and finalized these in March 2014. As a result, content previously taught and tested at a higher grade level is now included at an earlier age, and the level of understanding required to correctly answer a test question is more demanding. The Spring 2015 test included these more rigorous standards for the first time. It is important to note that this requires the school to prepare students for test content a full year earlier than previously and to make adjustments to help students learn more than one year of material each school year until they have caught up with this new testing level.
The second action of the State Board of Education that impacts the results of the state test occurred last month when the State Board of Education created, effective immediately, new cut off scores for each category (below basic, basic, proficient, advanced) identifying student results on the state test. The effect of this was to raise the level of score students must reach to pass this more difficult test.
As a result of these two changes, the number of students scoring proficient or advanced has drastically declined statewide as well as in our own school district. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has recognized that students and schools could not bridge the gap of education required by these changes in one year and has obtained a waiver from the United States Department of Education to not use these scores in assessing schools for 2015.
It is important for you to understand that, if your child’s PSSA score report indicates a lower performance level than in previous years, he or she took a more difficult test and was expected to reach a higher level to demonstrate his or her knowledge. This drop in proficiency level should be expected. I encourage you to review and discuss your child’s performance with him/her and to inform them that any decline in scores from past testing sessions is not a reflection of their performance. We at Clarion Area School District are proud of our students’ performance and will continue to help all students improve their education each and every day. We are already taking steps to review the data, adjust teaching and content, and implement strategies that will help your child grow. Remember, a drop in proficiency level does not indicate that your child is learning less. The state has indicated that we cannot compare this year’s results to previous results because these are different tests, assessing different content at a higher level of expected achievement. We accept the challenges of helping students meet these new expectation levels and will continue to work hard for your child throughout this transition.
Michael L. Stahlman, Ed.D.
Clarion Area School District
Info for Parents >