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State Assessments


  • Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) includes assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics which are taken by students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Students in grades 4 and 8 are administered the Science PSSA.  The English Language Arts and Mathematics PSSAs include items that are consistent with the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.  The Science PSSA includes items that are aligned to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science, Technology, Environment and Ecology.
  • http://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/PSSA/Pages/default.aspx#tab-1



  • Keystone Exams are end–of-course assessments in designated content areas.  The Keystone Exams serve two purposes: (1) high school accountability assessments for federal and state purposes, and (2) high school graduation requirements for students beginning with the class of 2017.  The Algebra I and Literature Keystone Exams include items written to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts.  The Biology Keystone Exam includes items written to the Assessment Anchor/Eligible Content aligned to the enhanced Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science.
  •  http://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/Pages/Keystone-Exams.aspx#tab-1

Local Assessments


  • Star Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with learning data. Star tests are computer adaptive, which means they adjust to each answer your child provides. This helps teachers get the best data to help your child in the shortest amount of testing time (about one-third of the time other tests take).
  • http://www.renaissance.com/2016/09/09/parents-guide-star-assessments/


  • MAP is an assessment produced by the Northwest Evaluation Association.  Students are tested in the areas of reading, language, and mathematics three times a year.  MAP adapts test difficulty in response to each student’s answer. The test narrows in on a student’s learning level, engaging them with content that allows them to succeed. This produces an accurate score called a RIT (Rasch Unit). The RIT Scale is a curriculum scale developed by NWEA that uses the individual item difficulty values to estimate student achievement.  Teachers, Assistant Principals and Principals can access a wealth of reports to identify student strengths and needs as well as developing instructional goals for future learning.  The results for each student tracks their progress from their first test to the last test they took, whether it is one year or eight years. MAP also allows teachers and administrators to compare and look for patterns in student learning and knowledge.  https://www.nwea.org/assessments/map/
  • Download the Parent Fact Sheet

For more information, contact:

Amy Dent
Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
412.371.7000 Ext. 100