In 1999, Pennsylvania adopted academic standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and for Mathematics. These standards identify what a student should know and be able to do at varying grade levels. School districts possess the freedom to design curriculum and instruction to ensure that students meet or exceed the standards' expectations.
Assessment Update (PDF)
The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 is assessed in reading and math. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 5, 8 and 11 is assessed in writing. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 4 and 8 is assessed in science.
Individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning.
In compliance with §4.51(b)(4) of the PA School Code the State Board of Education approved, "specific criteria for advanced, proficient, basic and below basic levels of performance."
Getting Ready for 2015 will be posted in Fall 2014
Performance Level Descriptors and Cut Scores (All Grade/Subjects)
English Language Arts Resources
The Braille PSSA Item Samplers are now available in contracted braille format.
Item Samplers for students who will take the PSSA in Braille format are available and will need to be ordered by contacting Ms. Cathy Nadberazny at the PaTTAN AIM Center by phone at 1.800.360.7282 extension 3317 or by email at email@example.com. If possible, please return the Item Sampler that includes tactile graphics. An envelope with a return address is being sent so that the tactile graphics can be returned. Please note that no new items have been added since the 2010 Braille Item Samplers were released last year.
The samplers can be accessed below and are in a braille-ready file (.brf) format which can be embossed locally. The tactile graphics are available in a PDF format which can be reproduced with appropriate equipment (i.e., tactile image enhancer or PIAF) and specialized paper. Please note that these files do not contain any new or additional sample items. They are provided for the convenience of any LEA who may want to emboss locally.
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