Ephrata comments on PSSA inquiry

By on January 18, 2012

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

As previously published in the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era, the state has cleared Ephrata Area School District following an investigation of irregularities in its students’ standardized test scores.

Irregularities were found during a 2009 review of Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores from Fulton Elementary School in Ephrata and Hamilton Elementary and Wheatland and Lincoln middle schools in The School District of Lancaster. These schools were among 89 singled out in the July 2009 forensic report, which analyzed PSSA math and reading scores from 2009. The report did not accuse the schools of cheating.

Pennsylvania uses PSSA results to determine whether schools are making "adequate yearly progress," or AYP, in compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind law. State Department of Education officials began investigating after learning of the report in 2011. Department spokesperson Tim Eller said this month 28 school districts and charter schools, including Ephrata, were notified that they had been cleared.

"The Pennsylvania Department of Education reviewed information related to the 2009 Fulton Elementary School PSSA Data Forensics Technical Report and notified the Ephrata Area School District administration that they have determined that no further inquiry is necessary," said a spokesperson from the Ephrata Area School District. "The areas of inquiry were related to a significant demographic change outside the normal distribution and state projections for growth were not reached in math. Fulton Elementary School did receive AYP status for the 2009 school year."

The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era noted that The Department of Education is still looking into abnormalities in testing results at three School District of Lancaster schools. More PSSA, page A6

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