Student Achievement Progress Assessments

PSSA & Keystone Exams Update - March 19, 2021

U.S. Department of Education issued new guidance on February 22, 2021 that will allow school entities to delay the federally-required assessments until the fall when more students return to onsite learning.

Anticipated PSSA Testing Dates

  • August 30 - September: 4th - 9th grade ELA
  • September 2 & 3: 4th - 9th grade Math
  • September 8 & 9: 5th and 9th grade Science and make up tests
  • September 10, 15, & 17: make up tests

Anticipated Keystone Exams Dates

  • September 13 & 14: Literature (11th grade)
  • September 20 & 21: Algebra I and make up tests
  • September 22 & 23: Biology and make up tests
  • September 27 - 29: make up tests

For more information on state testing, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Assessment and Accountability page. For questions regarding PSSAs and Keystone Exams at Renaissance Academy, please contact David Cosme at [email protected].

Academic Achievement Testing at RA

In addition to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) and PA Keystone Exams, Renaissance Academy also tracks the academic progress of students using the Northwestern Evaluation

Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing.  and the Classroom Management Tool (CMT).  See below for more information about these assessments.

Northwestern Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing

Founded by educators nearly 40 years ago, Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our flagship interim assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®).

More than 7,400 partners in U.S. schools, districts, education agencies, and international schools trust NWEA to offer pre-kindergarten through grade 12 assessments that accurately measure student growth and learning needs, professional development that fosters educators’ ability to accelerate student learning, and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation.

What are the different NWEA assessments?

  • For grades 2-11: Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Language Usage MAPs, three times per year.
  • For 1st grade: Primary Grades Reading and Mathematics MAPs three times per year.
  • For Kindergarten: Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA) for literacy and numeracy three times per year.

How are the assessments used?

NWEA assessments are used to measure your child’s progress or growth in school.  You may have a chart in your home on which you mark your child’s height at certain times, such as on his or her birthday.  That is a growth chart.  It shows how much he or she has grown from one year to the next.  NWEA assessments do the same sort of thing, except they measure your child’s growth in mathematics, reading, language usage, and science skills

The scale used to measure your child’s progress is called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT).  The RIT scale works much like feet and inches on a yardstick.  It is used to chart your child’s academic growth from year to year.  MAP assessments are important to teachers because they keep track of progress and growth in basic skills.

The results let teachers know where a student’s strengths are and if help is needed in specific areas.  Teachers use this information to help guide their instruction in the classroom.

Classroom Diagnostic Tool (CDT)

Renaissance Academy is currently participating in the voluntary use of the Classroom Diagnostic Tool (CDT).  The CDT is a set of online assessments, divided by content area, designed to provide diagnostic information in order to guide instruction and remediation.

The CDT assists educators in identifying student academic strengths, and areas in need of improvement.  The purpose of the CDT is to provide information that will help guide instruction by providing support to students and teachers. The CDT reports are designed to provide a picture or snapshot of how students are performing in relation to the Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors & Eligible Content and Keystone Assessment Anchors & Eligible Content.

The CDT goes beyond focusing only on what students should know and be able to do at a particular grade and/or course. It also provides a snapshot of how and why students may still be struggling or extending beyond the grade and/or course Eligible Content.  The CDT helps identify, and provides suggestions, for “next steps” in student academic development.  Currently, the CDT is available for Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Composition (administered at 9th grade), Literature (administered at 10th grade), Biology, and Chemistry.

PA Department of Education Assessments

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