On another post Wits-End wrote "What is the true scoop on PSSA results? A blogger on another blog asked what a 223.9% improvement meant? The first PSCC meeting should be an eyeopener when class and building results are talked about. The test is useless for many kids and does not reflect their abilities. I know kids who just fill in circles to get it over with and then they have MONTHS to wait to get caught. Hopefully the parents and teachers realize what the kid did in March or April and that they have coasted without guilt til the results hit the mailbox. I know. It is a character flaw. Maybe the polling method of "plus or minus" should be applied to the results. Anyway, I, errr, I mean the MOTHER has tried to take everything away from the child except his clothing, and it did not work. This kid just won't take the test seriously. His grades are not at all bad on his report card. Any advice would be welcome."
Is the child in high school, or in a lower grade? High school students already have so many tests that count for more- PSAT's, SAT's, subject matter SAT's, AP's, IB's, tests for class- that they may understandably focus on those tests. If a lower grade student- is the PSSA the only standardized test? Maybe an incentive (rather than a disincentive) would help, or an explanation that this practice is important to prepare for future tests that do really count for something.