Test scores are improving! Pennsylvania Schools show a significant increase in PSSA results
In the midst of this year’s budget battle, as the fate of the future of public education in Pennsylvania hangs in the balance, new test scores make the point clearly: fair, equitable school funding helps students in their efforts to meet the goals of No Child Left Behind.
This year’s test scores tell the story. In the first year following the General Assembly’s groundbreaking 6 year commitment to PA schools, a record number of our students are scoring at proficient or advanced performance level in reading and math, with first time ever increases in all grades and subjects tested. The PA Department of Education released the score information on July 27.
“While no single test or measure tells the full story of a school or a student, we are extremely pleased with the test results achieved by Pennsylvania schools this year. This notable increase illustrates the tremendous work our members do every day to deliver the power of a great education,” said PSEA President Jim Testerman.
“These scores also loudly emphasize the importance of adequate funding for our classrooms. Lawmakers who are currently proposing deep cuts to public schools should pay special attention to these test scores. The federal funds for Title 1 and IDEA that could replace our state dollars do not contribute to smaller class sizes and school wide achievement. We must continue our commitment as a Commonwealth and not turn back the clock on our kids. Legislators must do their part. Pennsylvania must continue the progress we are making and provide our schools and our students the resources needed to succeed, not just in meeting the goals of NCLB, but in teaching the whole child.”
The results released today come from the annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, known as the PSSA. They are given in reading and math in grades 3-8 and grade 11.
Overall, nearly three-quarters of Pennsylvania students scored proficient or advanced in reading and math in 2009. As evidence of Pennsylvania's sharp progress, over the last seven years the percent of students getting the lowest grade in math dropped by 63 percent in grade 5 and by 54 percent in grade 8.
Governor Rendell's proposed budget would build on these significant gains by continuing to fund schools using a six-year formula enacted by the General Assembly last year. The formula, crafted as a result of the legislature's "Costing-Out Report," is intended to ensure all schools have the tools and programs needed to bring all students to proficiency while minimizing the burden on local property taxpayers.
PA Education Secretary Zahorchak noted there is a clear link between adequate funding and student performance. In 2008, school districts with the largest funding gaps averaged 78 percent more students below proficient level than districts with adequate resources.
We cannot turn back the clock on PA kids. Urge lawmakers to support a $418 million increase for public education.
Learn more at www.savepaschools.org.