York City saw improvements in English, mixed in math
- The district saw slight improvements in ELA across the board, but scores were close to last year's.
- Students did worse in math overall.
Individual schools' Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exam scores were released recently, and for the second year in a row, schools were subjected to the more rigorous Common Core standards that were enacted during the May 2015 tests.
The results were a mixed bag for schools across York County — but mostly bad news for the York City School District..
The district saw improvement in English language arts (ELA) scores, but math scores declined slightly. The schools' scores did not differ drastically from the previous year, though, and the district's scores were still among the lowest in the county.
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.
To break it down, 1.6 percent of students scored as advanced on the ELA test in 2016 compared to 1.2 percent in 2015. On the same test, 18 percent of students scored proficient in 2016, but 17.7 percent achieved the same score in 2015. More students scored basic on the test, 47.3 percent in 2016 versus 45 percent in 2015. Finally, 33.1 percent of students scored below basic on the test this past year, which is lower than the 36 percent of students in 2015 who scored below basic.
The district's math scores were lower than the ELA scores and also decreased a bit from the 2015 scores overall. However, 1.7 percent of students scored advanced on the test from 2016, while only 1.1 percent of students achieved the same score in 2015. On the latest round of tests, 6.8 percent of students were considered proficient, lower than the 7.4 percent from 2015. Only 21.6 percent scored in the basic range on the test this past year, but in 2015, 24 percent of students achieved the same score.
A whopping 70 percent of students in the district were considered below basic on the PSSAs in 2016, compared to 67.5 percent in 2015.
Hannah Penn K-8 saw some of the worst scores in the York City School District. On the ELA exam, 40.5 percent of the students in the school scored below basic in 2016, while 79.7 percent of students scored below basic on the math exam. However, fewer students scored below basic compared to 2015. Scores improved slightly in the school on both tests.
Devers K-8 had the most students score in the advanced range on both the ELA and the math PSSA exams. On the ELA exam, 3.3 percent of students scored advanced, while 2.1 percent of students scored advanced on the math exam. The K-8's scores declined on the math exam for the previous year, as did most of the ELA scores.
The district did implement an updated curriculum in math and language arts for the 2016-17 school year. Teachers wrote the curriculum to align more closely with the PSSA core standards. The goal is to improve test scores and overall student success, but the district won't know if the improvements will work until PSSA scores come out next year.
Information for each of the schools at each grade level and for each subject can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website. Information on scores from previous school years can be found there as well.