(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released their results of state-level assessments from the 2022-2023 school year which showed students continue to improve in math, science and English language arts.

Each year, students are tested through the one of the Commonwealth’s three state-level assessments; Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for students, Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) with this year’s results showing students continue to achieve academically across PA.

Statewide assessments very by grade level with the PSSA’s for students grades three through eight, end-of-course Keystone Exams for middle and high schoolers and the PASA for students  students who are unable to participate in the general assessments. 

All of which must be administered in-person which has impacted perception rates across PA over the last three years.

This year’s results showed students grew more proficient in English language arts by 0.4 from 54.1 percent to 54.5 percent, math by 2.6 percent from 35.7 percent to 38.3 percent and science by 4.5 percent from 54.4 to 58.9 percent from the 2021-2022 school year to the 2022-2023 school year.

English learner growth made the largest jump going up nearly seven percent from 22.2 percent to 29 percent in the past year.

PA’s secretary of education said the results are a testament to what officials have been saying about increased participation and how it will lead to improved achievement and reach pre-pandemic levels of proficiency.

“This year’s assessment results underscore what we have said before—that with each passing year, participation and achievement will continue to improve,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “Pennsylvania’s results are well on their way to returning to pre-pandemic rates and we look forward to helping our students exceed those levels in the years ahead. Schools across the Commonwealth are using innovative new approaches, like online assessments, that are increasing flexibility for educators and learners—and we will continue to see an improvement in results over the coming years.” 

Participation and achievement data is already part of the Future Ready PA Index, a reporting system for presenting school-level data across a broad range of indicators including English language acquisition, career readiness, access to advanced coursework, and regular attendance.

That index also showed students improved their expected graduation rate to 87 percent and career readiness indicators to 89.5 percent.

“Banked scores” were also waived for middle and high school students who would have taken a Keystone Exam during the 2019-2020 school year which decreased the amount of eligible testers for middle and high schoolers.

Those scores will impact results for the Keystone Exams through at least the 2023-2024 school year.

For more information on the PA Department on Education along with their policies and programs, check out their website here.