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PSSA Information

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is an annual assessment administered in commonwealth classrooms in grades 3 through 8, and in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Pennsylvania adopted more rigorous PA Core Standards in late 2013 and the 2015 PSSA marks the first time the assessment was fully-aligned to the standards. These new, more rigorous standards aim to better prepare students for the 21st century work force.
Assessment scores represent a snapshot in time of student performance, and should not be considered the sole indicator of student achievement. Standardized assessments, like the PSSA, help Pennsylvania meet federal and state requirements, as well as provide educators, stakeholders, and policymakers with important information about the commonwealth’s students and schools, and inform instructional practices.
The following webinar was offered by Pennsylvania Department of Education deputy secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Matt Stem, and was recorded on July 30. Its aim is to provide background on the Pennsylvania System of State Assessment. The webinar focuses on the outcomes of the 2015 PSSAs, and provides an overview of the process used to determine the 2015 PSSA cut scores, the impact those scores will have on students and educators, and next steps in communicating with families, stakeholders, and the community about the new PSSA.

Performance Level Descriptors and Cut Scores