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Pennsylvania Accountability System (PAS)

Pennsylvania’s accountability system as required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is administered by the 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.

During the 2017-18 school year, Pennsylvania 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 percent of school days in the academic year). Pennsylvania will use all of these indicators to identify schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools every three years, beginning in 2018-19.

An important component of the state’s ESSA plan is the creation of the Future Ready PA Index, a comprehensive, public-facing school progress report that includes a wide range of meaningful, evidence-based indicators. Future Ready PA Index moves beyond a single, summative score to increase transparency around school and student group performance.

The Future Ready PA Index provides transparent and publicly accessible data on academic achievement, academic growth, high school graduation rate, efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, and information on English learner proficiency, among other indicators. More information on the Future Ready PA Index.

Finally, the bureau will continue to publish building-level data for purposes of educator evaluation pursuant to state law (Act 82 of 2012).

Attribution Map

The Attribution Map describes the school and district that is responsible for ensuring student participation in the state assessments, ordering test materials, and administering the tests. It also explains how PSSA, PASA and grade 11 Keystone Exam scores will be attributed for accountability purposes. The Attribution Map is updated annually, and the 2019 Attribution Map will be posted prior to the 2019 Grades 3-8 (PSSA and PASA) and Grade 11 (Keystone) Attribution Windows in DRC’s eDIRECT system. All communication regarding Attributions are communicated by DRC to the Assessment Coordinators in the school or district. For PIMS data, please use the PDE Attribution Rules supplement that is posted along with the Attribution Map.


All trainings are conducted by the Division of Assessment and Accountability in the Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction.  Training dates are posted with the PIMS Calendar and email broadcasts are sent to all PIMS Administrators on the list provided by the Office of Data Quality.

2019-2020 Assessment and Accountability Trainings



Division of Assessment and Accountability