PVAAS Predictions Raise Reasonable Concern

By Sarah Schaeffer

The future for Penn Manor’s PSSA’s does not seem bright, according to the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS), Penn Manor students are predicted to be behind in their PSSA’s this year.

PVAAS, released for the first time to the public this year, measures individual students’ academic growth over time, specifically through their third and eighth grade PSSA’s, projecting their eleventh grade scores. A growth index number is assigned to each student to predict their growth, with a zero represents a year’s worth of academic growth in a year, a positive number represents more than a year’s growth and a negative number indicates less than a year’s worth of growth.

PVAAS Prediction Chart. Photo courtesy of Lancaster Online.

On Monday, the PVAAS scores were published in local newspapers, ranking Lancaster County’s public schools’ growth predictions. Penn Manor was given a -5.8 in math and a -1.0 in reading. Meaning, basically, that the school district is slightly behind in reading and way behind in math, ahead of only McCaskey and Solanco in Lancaster County.

The chart is also displayed in traffic light colors, green indicating above predicted achievement, yellow meaning predicted achievement and red indicating below predicted achievement. Though Penn Manor is expected to not achieve a year’s worth of growth in either math or reading, the district falls in the red only in math and yellow in reading.

“PVAAS is extremely accurate and an indicator of student growth on PSSA’s over time,” said Dr. Michael Leichliter, Penn Manor’s superintendent.

“I’m disappointed [in the PVAAS results],” said Angela Stiklaitis, head of the Penn Manor math department.

Leichliter also said the high school had not focused in all classes on math like it has in reading. This may provide an explanation as to why Penn Manor’s reading scores are slightly more optimistic than math.

However, the “enrichment” scheduling implemented this year in the high school will, hopefully, positively impact the current juniors’ PSSA scores.

“A combination of enrichment and individual remediation will help [students’ scores],” said said Stiklaitis.

With PSSAs already three days in, the pressure’s on for Penn Manor.