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Vital Signs Pennsylvania

Vital Signs Pennsylvania

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Published by: bygsky on May 03, 2011
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Change the Equation
 
• 1101 K Street, NW
 
• Suite 610 • Washington, DC 20005
 
 
www.changetheequation.org 
 
PennsylvaniaSTEMVital Signs
 ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS 
 We evaluated Pennsylvania’s academic expectations in math by comparing the proficiency rates on the state test with the proficiency rates on NAEP. When NAEP results are far worse than the resultson the state test, the state might have low academic expectations.
 
 
Does Pennsylvania have high academic expectations of itsstudents?
 
Much smaller percentages of Pennsylvania
 
students were proficient onNAEP than on Pennsylvania
 
state tests
.
 
Sources: NAEP, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2009.
 
Paul Peterson, “State Standards Rise in Reading, Fall in Math,” 
EducationNext,
 fall 2010.
 
STATE STANDARDS AND TESTS
Strong academic standards and tests are a critical foundation forteaching and learning. Forty-three states have agreed to adoptCommon Core State Standards in math, and all of those states havejoined state consortia to develop tests aligned to those standards. Anational evaluation recently gave Common Core’s math standards an A-minus for their quality.
 
Has Pennsylvania
 
adopted
Common Core State Standards
 
in math?
 
 Yes
 
 
Has Pennsylvania
 
 joined a state testing consortium?
 Yes
 
 
How do Pennsylvania
 
math standards fare on
 
a national evaluation?
 
Sources: Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2011. Achieve, Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers,2011.Fordham Foundation,
The State of State Standards—and the Common Core—in2010.
 
STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND ACHIEVEMENT GAPS
 
Student performance varies widely within and among states. NAEPallows states to compare themselves against other states, measureachievement gaps among different groups of students and track students’ improvement over time.
 
 
How do Pennsylvania students compare nationally?
Source: NAEP, 2009.
*
Pennsylvania was not among the 11 states that participated in NAEP’s 12
th
gradeState Pilot Program for Mathematics in 2009.
 
 
How large are achievement gaps among demographic groups?
Source: NAEP, 2009.
Change the Equation is a national coalition of more than 110corporate CEOs who are committed to improving science,technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning forevery child, with a particular focus on girls and students of color.
 
82%71%46%40%
0%20%40%60%80%100%
4th GradeMath8th GradeMath
   P   e   r   c   e   n   t   a   g   e    (   %    )   o    f   s   t   u    d   e   n   t   s   s   c   o   r   i   n   g   a   t   o   r   a    b   o   v   e   p   r   o    f   i   c   i   e   n   t
2009 StateAssessment2009 NationalAssessment (NAEP)
53%45%48%42%23%18%12%7%17%13%7%7%
0%20%40%60%
4th GradeMath8th GradeMath4th GradeScience8th GradeScience
2009 NAEP: Percentage of Pennsylvania Students at or  Above Proficient
WhiteHispanicBlack
2009 NAEP: Percentage of Students at or Above Proficient
Pennsylvania U.S. Average of Top 3States
4
th
grade math
46% 38% 56% (MA, MN, NH)
8
th
grade math
40% 33% 48% (MA, MN, NJ)
12
th
grade math
N/A* 25% 33% (MA, NH, NJ)
4
th
grade science
38% 32% 46% (MA, NH, VA)
8
th
grade science
35% 29% 42% (MA, MT, ND)
 
 The future of Pennsylvania depends on its ability to boost student performance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Young people in Pennsylvania will increasingly face stiff competition for jobs from people across the world, and to succeed in the global economy, students willneed a much stronger foundation in STEM subject areas.In this STEM Vital Signs report, Change the Equation has compiled critical data on the condition of STEM learning in Pennsylvania. We provide thesedata to inform vigorous conversations about what it will take to improve STEM learning in the state. While there are no silver bullet fixes, the state canboost student outcomes by focusing on some key areas. For example:
 
Raise the bar on state tests.
 
The
Pennsylvania
 
state test
 
rates 82
 
percent of the state’s 4
 th
 
graders as proficient in math. That’s
 
far more than the 46 percent of Pennsylvania
 
4
 th
 
graders who score proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
 
(NAEP), which sets a consistent bar for student performanceacross the states
 
and tracks international assessments
.
 
 
Focus on achievement gaps.
 
Like all U.S. states, Pennsylvania has large achievement gaps between students of color and white students. Closing those gaps is both a moraland an economic imperative. The state should continually ensure that its policies target the diverse learning needs of all students, especially
 t
hose who face the biggest hurdles, without diluting expectations.
 
 
Foster more engaging science instruction.
Large percentages of Pennsylvania
 
students
 
say they seldom design science experiments or write reports about science projects. Strategies foraddressing this problem include providing professional development and classroom materials to help teachers get their students
 
fully
 
engaged inscience.
 

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