The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 is assessed in reading and math. Students in grades 5, 8 and 11 are assessed in writing and students in grades 4, 8, & 11 are assessed in Science.
Individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools, assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning.
The annual Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) is an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The PASA measures achievement separately in reading and language arts, math and science. These alternate assessments make it possible each child to show what he or she has learned—and for the school to be held accountable for that achievement.
The IEP team determines which assessment option best meets the needs of the child. IEP team also decides how each student will participate in assessments.
Professional development in PSSA or PASA administration and scoring procedures as well as curricular implications for instruction can be provided.