State & Federal Initiatives
◊ Keystone Exams
The Keystone Exams are assessments designed to measure proficiency. The exams have been developed for: algebra I, algebra II, geometry, literature, English Composition, biology, chemistry, U.S. History, world history, and civics and government. The exams serve as one requirement for high school graduation in Pennsylvania. They were developed to help school districts help students to meet state standards, expectations that will help students be successful in post-secondary education or in the workplace. Students graduating in 2015 and 2016 must demonstrate successful completion in the courses where the Keystone Exams serve as the final exam. The scores on these tests will count for at least one-third of the final course grade.
For additional information, please see:
PDE Keystone Exams Program Overview
PVAAS is a statistical analysis of PSSA assessment data and provides districts and their schools with data that explains progress of groups of students over a period of time. This new program of measuring student learning provides educators with valuable information to help them identify how well they are meeting the academic needs of groups of students as well as individual students.
All 500 school districts across the Commonwealth receive web-based reporting through the PVAAS system. Districts can use PVAAS information, in conjunction with other assessment data, to identify if all students are moving toward proficiency. Utilizing all the data available, educators are able to make data-informed instructional decisions to provide for the academic growth and achievement of all students. The PVAAS data is not intended to be used in isolation, nor is it intended to identify teacher accountability.
PVAAS data will be made public in February 2011. Parents and community members can then go to the site to see the data and reports.
For additional information:
Pennsylvania Department of Education web site
Guide to PVAAS Public Reporting
◊ Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
In December 2010, the Federal Government approved the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 re-authorizing funding for the Federal school meal and child nutrition programs. The bill also strengthens local school wellness policies, mandating that all school districts who participate in the National School Lunch Program to establish a school wellness policy. Updates on requirements for these policies will include opportunities for public input in the policy plans and measuring compliance. The USDA will work with states, school districts, and communities to implement the provisions of the bill.
For additional information, please see the National Conference of State Legislature