Thank you for supporting your student’s participation in the 2021 administration of the PSSA. The PSSA provides educators with information about students’ attainment of grade-level content in English language arts, mathematics, and science. This information is used by districts and schools to identify strengths and gaps in instructional programs, which is especially important in these unprecedented times.
The purpose of this communication is to highlight points for you to keep in mind as you review your student’s individual score report (ISR).
WHAT DOES A STUDENT’S REPORT TELL ME?
Your student’s ISR provides information about the degree to which your student demonstrated understanding of the grade-level content and skills expected at the end of a typical school year.
- The information included in the ISR to describe your student’s performance is consistent with that provided in previous years.
- The design of the PSSA did not change; the length, item types, and content and skills targeted for assessment were identical.
While 2020-2021 was by no means typical, the score resulting from the 2020-2021 PSSA can still be used to understand your student’s overall performance at the time of testing.
- However, the test score cannot tell you why the results look the way they do; especially if your student’s performance differed from that expected or observed in previous years.
THE TEST IS ONE PIECE OF A BIGGER PICTURE
A single test score does not provide a complete or precise measure of student achievement.
- It represents a snapshot of student performance at the time of testing.
It is important to consider other relevant measures of student achievement when interpreting test results.
- Course grades, homework, teacher feedback, performance on classroom assessments, and other measures can provide additional insight on your student’s academic performance and growth.
It is also important to consider how conditions for learning, which were likely disrupted by the pandemic, may have influenced performance including changes in student’s
- learning environment – how and where instruction occurred
- opportunity to learn grade-level content (i.e., due to attendance, time spent receiving instruction)
- motivation to test