York County PSSA results are in
- York Suburban's district did well again this year, despite more difficult core standards.
- York City had some of the lowest scores of all York County school districts.
The state Department of Education has released the results of the 2016 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment exams, showing which school districts are performing well — and which still have their work cut out for them.
The scores were released Thursday, and results for each school at each grade level can be found on the Education Department's website.
York Suburban School District's PSSA results were among the best in York County again this year. According to a York Counts Indicator, York Suburban had the highest average scores in both math and reading at the third-, fifth- and eighth-grade levels in 2015.
That trend continued this year.
York Suburban's middle school had the highest number of students score in the "advanced" range on the math and English language arts exams. And 40.3 percent of the district's middle-schoolers scored advanced in English, while 32.4 percent scored advanced on the math test.
On the other hand, the York City School District had some of the lowest scores in the county.
On average, in the district's K-8 buildings, only 1.7 percent of students scored in the advanced category of the English language arts exam, and only 1.6 percent of students were advanced on the math exam. Each of the seven K-8 schools had between 65 percent and 79 percent of students score below basic in math. An average of 33 percent of students in the K-8 schools scored below basic on the English exam.
City schools spokeswoman Erin James said the district would wait to comment on state test scores until the School Performance Profile scores are released later this month. The profiles are snapshots of each school's academic performance.
Statewide: More students in the state as a whole were scoring better on the PSSA. Aggregate results that were released in August showed more students scoring in the proficient and advanced levels of the exam in 2016. According to the Department of Education, this was the first year that there had been significant growth since 2011.
The tests were taken at the end of the school year in 2015, which was the second year students were held to higher standards. Because of these new standards, most York County schools saw a marked decrease in their proficiency levels between 2014 and 2015. Still, in 2015 York County schools typically scored better than the state average on PSSAs.
York Counts Indicators show that school districts in York County were decreasing in third- and fourth-grade reading scores even before the new, more rigorous testing was implemented. Although area schools performed better than the statewide average, there was a significant drop in local scores in 2015 because of the new core standards. Of the school districts in York County, York City School District typically had the lowest average scores.
York City School District implemented a new math and English language arts curriculum for the 2015-16 school year, which more closely aligns the schools curriculum with the new PSSA Core Standards. Administrators are hoping that the new curriculum, written entirely by teachers, will improve state test scores and the overall success of students.