Test Score Gains

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The Wilkinsburg School District is encouraged by gains made on the 2009 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). Kelly and Turner Elementary Schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the state’s standard for achievement, for the third time in four years, while Johnston Elementary School made AYP for the second time in three years. In addition, in grades where the special education population was big enough to measure reliably, students made AYP in reading because of significant growth over 2008 levels. In grade 11, the only grade tested between grades 9 and 12, students’ reading performance fell only fractionally shy of AYP standards, despite exhibiting growth of about 6.5 percent. Finally, using a new method for projecting proficiency rates into the future, 2009 test results revealed that between 60 and 72 percent of students in grades 3-8 are projected to be proficient in math within 1 to 3 years, while between and 74 percent are projected to be proficient in reading.

As a district, Wilkinsburg fell short in its efforts to make AYP for the first time since the 2004-2005 school year, primarily because of math achievement in the upper grades and among special education students. “This is an area where we recognize a special challenge,” said Superintendent Archie Perrin. “And we recognize that change requires time. But we are encouraged by the goals we have met and are proud that our students continue to demonstrate strong capabilities and an appetite for growth. They are the future of our district, our region, and our state.”

“This year’s testing results allow us to sharpen our focus for next year,” said Dr. Patricia Grey, director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. “We intend to move ahead vigorously, in a continuing effort to bolster instruction and learning, beginning with enhanced curricula, an infusion of additional technology into the lower grades, and a renewed commitment from our parents. We are confident and excited. Check back with us in a year.”

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