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The hard data: Scores down at every level

  • image 20from 20school 20district 20of 20philadelphia 202012 20pssa 20test 20results
    Photo: School District of Philadelphia - press release

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(Updated, 2:30 p.m.)
The line graphs for the School District are all trending downward.

As the state today finally presents its 2012 PSSA results and report on schools meeting federal targets for adequate yearly progress, the School District has provided its annual breakdown of student performance on the state exam.

The declines in proficiency rates on last spring's test range from as much as 17 points for 3rd graders in math to as little as 1 point for 11th graders in both reading and math. For the most part, the lower the grade level, the steeper the decline.

Superintendent William Hite, in his first week on the job, called the results "clearly disappointing."

The release of the District and state results today was dominated by discussion of the ongoing statewide investigation of cheating. District officials cite both new test security protocols and budget cuts as possible causes of the decline. In Philadelphia, teachers were for the first time not allowed to proctor their own classroom. Statewide, there were stricter protocols around handling the tests, and scores overall declined statewide.

In Philadelphia, every grade level and demographic group, including English language learners and special education students, saw proficiency rates go down.

Overall, proficiency rates dropped 9 points in math, to 49.1 percent, and 7 points in reading, to 44.5 percent.

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Paul Socolar

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Paul is the Notebook's former editor and publisher and also one of its founders in 1994.