The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced test administered to all School District of Philadelphia (SDP) students in grades 3-8 near the end of the school year. All students are assessed in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math, and students in grades 4 and 8 are also assessed in Science.
This research brief highlights the changes in the percentage of students scoring in the Proficient or Advanced performance groups on the PSSA exams from 2019 (the last normal administration of the PSSAs before the Covid-19 pandemic) to 2022 (the most recent PSSA administration, and the first normal administration since the Covid-19 pandemic) in Pennsylvania school districts.
Key findings include:
- Statewide, there was a decline in the number of students taking the ELA, Math, and Science PSSA exams from 2019 to 2022.
- There was also an average decline across the state in the percentage of students performing in the Proficient or Advanced performance groups on the three PSSA exams.
- While the School District of Philadelphia experienced less severe performance declines from 2019 to 2022 than other PA districts, its 2022 performance was still below most districts.