H-H School District Exceeds State Expectations in Math, Reading Exams
Hatboro-Horsham High School was placed on “Warning” status for below-target math and reading results. Initiatives are under way to help increase results for upcoming Keystone Exams.
All of Hatboro-Horsham School District’s elementary schools, as well as Keith Valley Middle School, have met the state’s requirements for student performance in math and reading in the 2011-12 school year — meeting the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment’s (PSSA) benchmarks for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
In Pennsylvania, school districts must meet a number of requirements to make AYP as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Those requirements include achieving specific levels of proficiency in reading and math on the PSSA.
Students in grades third through eighth, as well as those in 11th grade, take the PSSA every year. For school districts to meet AYP for the 2011-12 school year, 78 percent of their students must have proficient or advanced PSSA scores in math, and 81 percent of their students must have proficient or advanced PSSA scores in reading. Districts must have at least a 95 percent student participation rate on the exam.
Students who fall into defined subgroups, including racial/ethnic, socio-economic, limited English skills and special education, must also meet the AYP testing requirements. Additionally, school districts must also meet annual targets for attendance and graduation rates.
“It is through the hard work of our administration and staff that Hatboro-Horsham School District has been able to consistently meet or exceed the annual requirements for AYP,” Superintendent Curtis Griffin said. “Doing so has become increasingly difficult as the state continues to raise the bar for student accomplishment.”
Hatboro-Horsham’s scores were well above the thresholds set by the state:
- District elementary students scored 93.9 percent proficient and above in math and 87.9 percent proficient and above in reading.
- Keith Valley Middle School students scored at 93.1 percent proficient or above in math and 89.6 percent proficient or above in reading.
The only area in which the district did not meet requirements was at the high school, where scores for math and reading were below AYP requirements. As a result, the high school is in the “Warning” category, and has another year in which to achieve AYP targets before being asked to implement an improvement plan. High school students scored 76.7 percent in math and 72.6 in reading.
The district plans to continue its Individualized Education Program (IEP) progress monitoring to help improve student scores; institute new measures of progress, including benchmarks; and establish reviews that are targeted to individual students.
In mid-July, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced it would be transitioning to the Keystone Exams, which utilizes three tests — Algebra I, literature and biology — to measure AYP. The Keystone Exams will replace the PSSAs, which have been in place since the 1990s. Besides AYP, the newly implemented exams will also be utilized for a number of other determining factors, including teacher evaluations and student graduation eligibility.
For more information about the PSSA, Keystone Exams and AYP requirements, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education at www.education.state.pa.us.