Sunday, July 4, 2010

Test Scores -- PSSA-style

There's a thread about test scores at various high schools on the previous posting about the Promise. Those comments start on July 4th and list test scores for the PPS high schools.

On the Pure Reform website, this page has links to charts of performance from 2004 onward:

The first link there compares changes in PPS versus state results as a whole. In a nutshell, any gains in the PPS have been mirrored by similar gains statewide. Whatever we're doing here isn't outdoing what everyone else is doing -- our scores don't seem to be improving any more than the statewide scores, despite all the changes.

There are a couple of things to remember as you read the test scores. HS students are only tested in 11th grade; younger students are tested in all grades 3-8. To compare schools solely on their scores is problematic, you should also consider demographics, magnet programs, etc.

This link at A+ Schools gets you to the two page listings for each school. Those pages break out some of the information, like % of kids getting free or reduced lunch and scores by race, IEP, and by income status. There need to be 40 kids in a category for it to be broken out in the charts. For instance, in CAPA's 11th grade in 2009, there weren't enough kids with IEPs for their scores to be reported separately.

You can find the 2009 PSSA numbers for yourself at this site:

And you can find older PSSA results at this link:


Anonymous said...

Let us hope that these PVAAS projections reach fruition in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, etc.

I wonder what the PVAAS projections were in 2002 that lead us to such declining achievement in 2009?

What have we learned ? Why have the past eight years resulted in decline? What interventions are in place in PPS that allow or ensure these projections?

Historical Note:

The PSSA standards/skills/assessments were created in 1996 and passed into law in 1999. Thus, schools in PA have had access to the standards/skills to be assessed since 1996. Accountability for achievement began in 2003 with an expectation of 45% "proficiency" in Reading. In 2002, with a PA "proficiency" target set at 45% the PPS High School proficiency rates were as follows:

2002 PA target___45%

As you can see in 2002 most PPS high schools
were achieving at or beyond the PA target of 45%. In the eight years since, there has been little progress and MOST have NOT moved toward the advancing target now at 63%____ as have the majority of schools in Pennsylvania.

The PA target moved to 54% in 2005. PPS results are in previous post.

The PA target moved to 63% in 2008. PPS results are in a previous post.

(Compare the 2002 with the 2009 in the 11:02 AM post.)

P.S. If there is way to post the Excel Chart 2002-09, please advise.

Anonymous said...

PA target _____2004 = 54.0% _______2009 = 63.0%
Allderdice____ 2004 = 75.6% _______ 2009 = 65.5%
Brashear______2004 = 58.8% _______ 2009 = 47.3%
Carrick_______ 2004 = 47.2% _______2009 = 57.8%
Langley_______2004 = 39.2% _______ 2009 = 43.1%
Oliver________ 2004 = 26.6% ________2009 = 31.4%
Peabody______2004 = 21.0% ________2009 = 26.2%
Perry_________2004 = 41.5% ________2009 = 39.3%
Schenley _____2004 = 59.8% _______ 2009 = 55.8%
Westinghouse 2004 = 19.6% _______2009 = 24.5%

Anonymous said...

PA target ___2004 = 54.0% ____2009 = 63,0%
Allderdice__2004 = 75.6% ____ 2009 = 65.5%
Brashear___ 2004 = 58.8%_____2009 = 47.3%
Carrick_____ 2004 = 47.2% ____ 2009 = 57.8%
Langley_____2004 = 39.2%_____2009 = 43.1%
Oliver_______2004 = 26.6%_____2009 = 31.4%
Peabody____2004 = 21.0%_____2009 = 26.2%
Perry_______ 2004 = 41.5%____ 2009 = 39.3%
Schenley ___2004 = 59.8% ____ 2009 = 55.8%
Westinghs 2004 = 19.6% ____ 2009 = 24.5%

Anonymous said...

On the other thread, this question was posed:"Was the teaching staff at Carrick just more adept at massaging the canned curriculum or did they have relationships with students where the kids wanted to do well for the teacher?"

Hardly. Ask any Carrick teacher who has had to contend with PSSA's and they'll tell you that they had to go above and beyond the outrageously inadequate curriculum to get kids up to speed. How can any "educator" in their right mind think that consistently asking questions like "What is the gist?" "How do you know?" and "What do you consider to be significant moments?" is going to breed PSSA success? And ladies and gentlemen, that is the English curriculum in a nutshell.

Asking deeper questions, providing much more thorough homework that demanded focused reading and having preparatory classes helped, as did having a patient, positive staff. But please--no thanks to the district's English department, which was more of a hindrance than anything else.

Anonymous said...

There are kids all over Pittsburgh at all grade levels who can't help but laugh everytime someone says "gist" out loud. In the time to come, the kids will likely label "best" those teachers who managed to side-step scripted curriculum without getting caught.