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Predict Student PSSA Results with over 80% Accuracy

Dec 12, 2016

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New Study Shows High PSSA Alignment for OHS Benchmark Assessments

Due to the increased rigor associated with the PA Core, PSSA and Keystone exams were modified to support the new standards. Since then, accurately predicting student performance has been a challenge for many districts. OHS responded to these changes by rewriting our PA Benchmark Assessments. The new assessments were rolled out for the 2014/15 school year.

For the last two years, OHS has hired Dr. Shula Nedley, a psychometrician and former PDE Assessment and Accountability Bureau Director, to evaluate the effectiveness of the OHS Benchmark Assessments in predicting PSSA performance. Dr. Nedley compared PSSA and OHS Benchmark Assessment scores for a 2,000 student sample group across multiple districts. Dr. Nedley’s results for the 2015/16 school year indicated that:

  • Approximately 84% of the predictions for proficiency were correct in Reading
  • Approximately 81% were correct in Mathematics

For the second year in a row, the OHS Benchmark Assessments have kept pace with the new rigor and been proven to predict success rates and drive students towards greater achievement.

Flexible Benchmarks Fit Easily in Your Calendar

The OHS Benchmark Assessments cover all tested PSSA Math and ELA grades as well as Keystones for Algebra, Biology and Literature.

  • There are three (3) benchmark tests for each grade/subject and each assessment can be taken in a single class period.
  • Students can take our assessments online or with bubble sheets, and subsequent reports are available immediately in EdInsight.
  • A range of pre-built reports, including a Standards Mastery Report, deliver actionable information showing each student’s active knowledge level on specific core standards, anchors and eligible content.


Written and Aligned to PA Eligible Content

All assessment items are vetted by expert educators and align to core standards, anchors and eligible content. Once written, each item is analyzed and reviewed by content specialists to ensure that it addresses the identified core standards and to confirm that it reflected appropriate Depth of Knowledge levels defined in Webb’s Cognitive Complexity Model and specific levels in Bloom’s taxonomy.

  • OHS uses assessment blueprints to build all tests and structured them to model the new state assessment format.
  • To create accuracy within the assessments, question types need to reflect those on the PSSAs. Our assessments incorporate multiple choice questions, evidence-based selected response questions and Text Dependent Analysis (TDA) questions.


Assessment Results Guide Instruction

EdInsight reports provide critical information to guide instruction and differentiate learning based on areas of remediation. With high accuracy, teachers know which students require further instruction on which standards. OHS Benchmark Assessments allow for the ability to predict results with the flexibility to advance student achievement.



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About The Author

Megan Hankins