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PSSA and Keystone Results show District Students Continue to make Academic Progress

Posted on November 1, 2018
Categories: District News, Press Releases

District student PSSA and Keystone improvements outpace state level increases

PHILADELPHIA – Scores from the 2017-2018 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and Keystone Exams show School District of Philadelphia students making continued academic progress.

Large gains were made on the PSSA, with a significant number of students moving out of the below-basic category on the English Language Arts (ELA) and Science portions of the test. In the Keystone Exams, District improvements outpace those at the state level, with the percent of high school students scoring proficient or advanced showing increases in all subject areas.

“I congratulate our students, teachers and principals on their continued academic progress,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia. “These results clearly show the hard work, dedication, and determination of everyone is making a difference.”

About 2,700 (or 5 percent) of third- to eighth-grade District students moved from below-basic to higher-performance levels on the ELA portion of the PSSA and 500 students (or 3 percent) moved from below-basic to higher-performance levels on the Science portion of the test.

“Students who need to make the most growth to ensure success in high school are making significant improvement, and reflect the success of our strategy and focus,” said Hite.

Some District schools showed significant improvement, well exceeding the average growth from below-basic to higher performance levels. At the Roberto Clemente Middle School in North Philadelphia, 19 percent of students moved from below-basic to higher performance levels on the ELA portion of the PSSA. At the Horatio B. Hackett School in Kensington, 14 percent of students moved from below-basic to higher performance levels on the ELA and Science portions of the PSSA.

“At Hackett, we strive to provide a collaborative learning environment for both students and teachers, focusing on how we can all improve every day,” said Hackett Principal Todd Kimmel. “Our students set clear goals for themselves so they understand what they are capable of achieving, and our teachers work together on ways they can enhance instruction. We are thrilled that the dedication of the entire school community is paying off and that our students are making such significant improvements in early literacy and science.”

The District’s results surpassed statewide results on ELA and Science. At the state level, students scoring below-basic in ELA decreased by 2 percentage points and students scoring below-basic decreased by 1 percentage point in Science.

The District continues making progress towards its anchor goal of all 8-year-olds reading on grade level, increasing the percent of 3rd-grade students scoring proficient or advanced on the ELA portion of the PSSA to 36 percent and reducing the number of students scoring below-basic by 5 percentage points.

The number of students scoring proficient or advanced on the Keystone Exams increased in each subject area. In Literature, 49 percent scored proficient or advanced, an increase of 5 percentage points. In Biology, 36 percent scored proficient or advanced, an increase of 4 percentage points. In Algebra 1, 38 percent scored proficient or advanced, an increase of 4 percentage points.

At the state level, scores remained essentially flat in Literature, Algebra and Biology.

Results of the PSSA and Keystone Exams were released last week by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. PSSA are administered to students in third through eighth grade. Keystone Exams are taken for Literature, Biology, and Algebra 1, and reflects the best performance of students enrolled in 11th grade.

District PSSA and Keystone results and open data files can be found by visiting https://www.philasd.org/performance/programsservices/open-data/pssakeystone/.

Last modified: November 1, 2018