In early fall, all public school districts, charter schools, cyber charter schools and full time Career and Technology Centers across the Commonwealth received web-based reporting through the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS). PVAAS is a statistical analysis of Pennsylvania (PA) state assessment data, and provides Pennsylvania districts and schools with growth data to add to achievement data. This lens of measuring student learning provides educators with valuable information to ensure they are meeting the academic needs of groups of students, as well as individual students.
PVAAS is one of the tools in the cadre of tools provided to districts from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Districts and schools are using PVAAS (growth data), in conjunction with achievement data, to make sure students are on the path to proficiency and beyond. Utilizing all the data available (growth and achievement), educators are able to make data-informed instructional decisions to ensure the academic growth and achievement of all students.
What is PVAAS?
PVAAS is a statistical analysis of PSSA assessment data, and provides districts and their schools with progress data to add to achievement data. This new lens of measuring student learning provides educators with valuable information to ensure they are meeting the academic needs of groups of students, as well as individual students.
To help you understand PVAAS analysis, think of academic growth in terms of a child’s physical growth, and the growth charts utilized by a child’s physician. Growth charts are an important tool for monitoring a child’s development, but they are just one of the indicators used by the physician to ensure a child is growing at the minimum expected level and on the trajectory to grow as expected. A physician would not use a growth chart in isolation to diagnose a child; however, the growth chart would provide valuable information that may warrant further exploration.
PVAAS provides two types of information, value-added (or growth) data on groups of students and student level projection data.
The value-added, or growth, information analyzes available data from previous years (looking back) to help districts and schools to evaluate how much groups of students have gained academically in a school year by answering questions such as: Did a group or subgroup of students make a year’s worth of growth for a year’s worth of schooling?
The projection information uses the data already analyzed to help schools project (looking forward) for the future by answering questions such as: What is the likelihood of a student being proficient on a future state assessment? Projection data can be used for intervention planning, enrichment planning, and resource reallocation.
PVAAS is available in the grades and subjects/courses assessed in Pennsylvania's statewide assessment system. This includes reporting for Mathematics and English Language Arts (grades 4-8), science, (grades 4-8), and Keystones (Algebra 1, Literature, Biology starting in SY12-13).