PSSA Scores Disappoint Public School Officials

Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent, Linda Lane, feels shocked and disappointed by PSSA testing results. Read her opinions on the issue here.

Last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette released an article about Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent, Linda Lane’s, reaction to PSSA results. Shocked by the disappointing results, Ms. Lane elaborates on why the results may have been so low, and what they plan to do for the next school year to increase scores.

Although no one can say for sure what the cause of the dropped scores was, Ms. Lane has several possible reasons:

• Dealing with budget reductions diverted the academic team’s time and attention.

• Uncertainty among staff members as the district prepared to close schools, lay off an unprecedented number of teachers and move teachers from one building to another this fall.

• Discontinuing 4Sight assessments after the state cut the Educational Assistance Program funds used to pay for them. Teachers used the tests throughout the year to see if students were on track to do well on the PSSA.

• Uncomfortable testing conditions for the PSSA brought about by new, “aggressive” state-required test security measures that left teachers and principals “afraid to do even the things they could do, especially with younger children.”

Acknowledging that there is much improvement to be made over the next school year, Ms. Lane does not hide the fact that it will be a year full of hard work.

The school year ahead doesn’t promise to be an easy one because class sizes will be larger and many teachers will be in buildings new to them.

“It does get tougher, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t hold ourselves accountable,” Ms. Lane said.

“We’ve got children who will be in our schools in less than three weeks. We have 136 days between the day they start and the administration of the PSSA. We have to make use of every single one of them.”

Although scores were lower this year than previous years, Pittsburgh Public Schools is still on an uphill incline from where they used to be. To learn more about the PSSA evaluation, read the full article online at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website.

Published August 20, 2012