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Frequently Asked Questions

This document is a compilation of some of the most frequently asked questions from across the state. 

PVAAS Reporting System Help Feature

A "Help" screen is available for every page of reports that exists within the PVAAS reporting system. If you click "Help" from any page, you will find definitions of terms, graphic displays, navigation and interpretation hints, and other explanatory information pertinent to the report you are examining. If you choose "Help" from the home page, you will see a short description of all the reports on the site.

For convenience, a PDF version of each help menu is available below:

Pennsylvania Statewide Scatterplots

The PSSA-PVAAS scatterplots visually display the data from the statewide distribution of PSSA results. 

PA AYP Growth Model

The Growth Model recognizes the efforts of schools whose students have not achieved proficiency but are on trajectories towards proficiency on future PSSA exams. The Growth Model will be calculated for all AYP Performance Targets (i.e., the all student group and up to nine subgroups). Projected scores are calculated for all students - including students who are proficient. If a projected score cannot be calculated for a particular student, the student's actual score is used. The Growth Model will be applied to an AYP Performance Target only if the target cohort has not made AYP performance by any of the existing six (6) provisions. Actual, not projected, PASA scores, 3rd grade scores, and 11th grade scores are always used, as well as the scores for any students with insufficient data points to make a projection.


The PVAAS Statewide Team for PDE has developed several short podcasts to assist in making PVAAS reporting clear and meaningful, for both the public reporting site and the password-protected site accessible for LEAs (Local Education Agencies). You will need to download the free iTunes software prior to downloading and viewing the podcasts. All podcasts are free to download and available via iTunesU at the following links.

Historical Print Resources