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Since 2002, PVAAS has provided Pennsylvania educators and policymakers with a powerful tool to determine—grade by grade and subject by subject—whether all students have plentiful choices and increased opportunities for learning. These analyses follow the growth of individual students over time to:

  • Assess a group of students' growth in LEAs/districts, schools, and classrooms; and

  • Provide trajectories for individual students toward critical academic benchmarks.

Through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), this reporting is available to every public school district and school based on the statewide Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) and Keystones by means of a secure web application.

The value-added estimates provided by PVAAS are based on a robust and reliable methodology. This important approach overcomes many critical statistical issues related to using standardized tests to assess student growth and mitigates concerns about fairness.

The information found in these misconception scenarios is based on the typical PVAAS reporting and includes results from the 2018-19 school year. Due to the pandemic's impact on student learning and the lack of state assessment data in spring 2020, the models, interpretation, and results from this year's reporting might differ somewhat than what is described here. For more information about how growth was calculated for the 2020-21 school year, refer to the resources available at