CASD Hears Preliminary PSSA Results

headlinenewsCLEARFIELD – The Clearfield school board heard preliminary results for its students’ Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams in grades three through eight during an administrative report Monday night by Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Federal Programs Bruce Nicolls.

Nicolls said students scored 77 percent proficient in math and 73 percent proficient in reading across all grade levels. This year he said IEP students were 40 percent proficient in math and 28 percent proficient in reading, as compared to just one student making proficiency in 2000-01.

So far as Adequate Yearly Progress, he’s still waiting. He said Pennsylvania’s waiver from the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act hasn’t been approved yet. NCLB requires all public schools receiving federal funding to administer a state-wide standardized test annually to all students. Schools, which receive Title I funding, must make AYP in test scores.

If the waiver is accepted, Nicolls said it would change the approach to school improvement by utilizing a Pennsylvania Performance Profile to measure progress at individual school buildings. He said such measures would include past scores, attendance and graduation rates, number of students in advanced placement, etc.

However, if Pennsylvania’s NCLB waiver is met with rejection, he said school districts would be bound to this year’s AYP targets of 89 percent proficiency in math and 91 percent proficiency in reading. He said this would be missed by almost every school in Pennsylvania, and these targets would increase to 100 percent proficiency in 2014.

Nicolls said when schools fail to meet AYP they must implement school improvement plans. When schools repeatedly fail they are categorized in corrective action. In that scenario, Nicolls said students could be allowed to transfer to another school within the district; and the district could be required to supplement its education with tutoring opportunities.

For 2011-12 the district missed AYP and was placed in District Improvement for not making the state’s graduation target. It also missed its target for the economically disadvantaged student subgroup, according to a previous report.

Bradford Township, Girard-Goshen and the Clearfield Elementary Schools met AYP. Centre Elementary missed AYP in reading last year and was placed on the “Warning” list. If it doesn’t make AYP this year, it will move into “School Improvement.”

The Clearfield Area Middle School and the Clearfield Area High School missed their AYP targets for 2011-12. The CAMS missed math targets for the economically disadvantaged student subgroup and was placed in “School Improvement I.” CAHS missed AYP targets for math and graduation rate and was placed in “Corrective Action 2.”

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