Pennsylvania Accountability System (PAS)
Pennsylvania's accountability system, as required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is administered by PDE's Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction. This bureau is responsible for the development, administration, scoring, and reporting of the PSSA and Keystone assessments, and provides guidance to schools and LEAs on assessment and accountability reporting.
The bureau's other assessment and accountability functions include:
- Evaluating LEA, school, and student progress and reporting school performance for compliance with federal and state requirements;
- Developing assessment anchors to better align curricula, instruction, and assessment practices;
- Coordinating test development, administration, and reporting; and
- Providing technical assistance for statewide and local assessment systems.
Pennsylvania recently transitioned to a new statewide accountability system aligned to ESSA federal requirements. The federal law requires that states use certain accountability indicators – including academic achievement and progress, graduation rate, and progress for English Learners – for purposes of identifying schools in need of additional supports. States must also identify at least one other indicator of school quality or student success as part of their accountability indicators. Pennsylvania's two additional accountability indicators are the Career Readiness Benchmark (percentage of students engaged in career exploration and preparation) and Chronic Absenteeism (percentage of students who have missed more than 10% of school days in the academic year). Pennsylvania will use all of these indicators to identify Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools every three years, beginning in 2018-19.
An important component of Pennsylvania's ESSA plan is the Future Ready PA Index, a comprehensive, public-facing tool that moves beyond a single, summative score to increase transparency around school and student group performance.