Nazareth Area School District Meets PSSA Benchmarks
Nazareth Area School District exceeds 2011-12 state averages for Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) in reading, writing and math; science scores, however, lag behind.
Students in the Nazareth Area School District topped their counterparts across the state in terms of being "proficient" or "advanced" in reading, math and writing, according to school test results released Friday.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education released the results of the 2011-12 Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA), administered in the spring, and for the six Nazareth schools the news was encouraging.
In math, of 2,416 students tested, 88.4 percent were considered "advanced" or "proficient" compared with state averages showing 75.6 percent "proficient" or "advanced," according to an analysis of the test scores.
For reading, while 72 percent of students in the state were found to be "proficient" or "advanced," 81.9 percent of the 2,365 NASD students tested were "advanced" or "proficient," again beating the state mark.
When it comes to the written word, 12.6 percent of NASD students scored as "advanced" and 70.5 percent were considered "proficient." The state's writing results were 64.2 percent "proficient" and "advanced."
In 2011, 68.8 percent of NASD students were found to be "proficient" or "advanced" in the subject of science. The district saw improvement since then, bringing 72.7 percent of the 1,035 NASD students tested in 2012 into "proficient" or "advanced" status.
The state's science results were 82.3 percent.
As required by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the PSSA is Pennsylvania's statewide standards-based assessment. The math and reading tests are given in grades 3 through 8 and 11th grade; the writing test is given in grades 5, 8 and 11, and the science test is given in grades 4, 8 and 11.
The goal is for all students to be 100 percent "proficient" or "advanced" in math and reading by 2014 -- meaning they have mastered Pennsylvania's assessment content standards at their grade level.
A school or district's performance on statewide math and reading assessments is the primary factor in determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), which is also required under NCLB. Student participation and attendance/graduation rate are also factors in making this determination.
Performance targets for AYP were 78 percent in math (up from 67 percent) and 81 percent in reading (up from 72 percent).
All six of the NASD schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the third year in a row.
Of the eight school districts in Northampton County, five made AYP. In addition to Nazareth, the other successful districts were Bangor Area School District, Northampton Area School District, Saucon Valley School District and Wilson Area School District.