Approval of Keystone Exam Performance Level Descriptors and Performance Level Cut Scores
[41 Pa.B. 4277]
[Saturday, August 6, 2011]
At its public meeting on July 20, 2011, the State Board of Education (Board) approved new performance level descriptors (PLDs) and performance level cut scores for the Keystone Exams for Algebra I, Literature and Biology as recommended to the Board by the Department of Education (Department). The approved PLDs and performance level cut scores are based upon the recommendations of teachers and administrative staff who participated in a workshop facilitated by the Department's assessment contractor. Recommended cut scores and PLDs were presented at a public meeting of the Board on July 6, 2011, 2 weeks before scheduled Board action on the cuts scores, as required by 22 Pa. Code § 4.51(f)(9) (relating to State assessment system).
The performance level descriptors and performance level cut scores for Keystone Exams in Algebra I, Literature and Biology were established for the first time as 2011 was the first year in which these assessments were administered.
The Board action was taken under general authority granted to it by the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 1-101—27-2702) and in accordance with specific provisions of the Board's regulations codified in 22 Pa. Code Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment). The approved Keystone Exam performance level cut scores are described in the Appendix. The approved performance level descriptors are available for review on the Department's web site at www.education.state.pa.us.
Development and Approval of Descriptors and Scores
As part of the State assessment system established by the regulations, the Board delegated to the Department the very important task of developing specific criteria for each of the performance levels prescribed by 22 Pa. Code § 4.51(b)(4)—advanced, proficient, basic and below basic. Specifically, the Department is directed by 22 Pa. Code § 4.51(b)(5) to consult with ''educators, students, parents and citizens,'' and then to ''develop and recommend to the Board for its approval specific criteria'' for each performance level.
As reported to the Board at its public meetings held July 6, 2011, and July 20, 2011, the Department met with educators from across this Commonwealth to assist the Department in developing the performance level descriptors and scores. Based on these efforts as described in detail for the Board at its meetings, the Department recommended the performance level descriptors and scores that the Board ultimately adopted at its July 20, 2011, meeting. Before adopting the performance level descriptors and scores on July 20, 2011, the Board provided members of the public in attendance with the opportunity to comment on the Department's recommendations. The Board at its July 6, 2011, meeting also provided members of the public with the opportunity to comment on the recommended performance level descriptors and scores.
The approved performance levels in the Appendix will be applied to the 2011 Keystone Exam scores, which will be publicly released in the fall of 2011. The PLDs, due to their length, are not included here but may be accessed on the Department's web site. The Department and the Board will review the descriptors and scores periodically based on actual experience in using them and consider revisions as appropriate, using the same process prescribed by 22 Pa. Code § 4.51(b)(4).
Persons with questions or who need additional information regarding the Board's approval of these performance level descriptors and performance level cut scores may contact Karen Molchanow, Acting Executive Director, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 787-3787 or TDD (717) 787-7367. Persons with questions or needing additional information regarding the development and implementation of them should contact John Weiss, Director, Bureau of Assessment and Accountability, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 787-4234 or TDD (717) 787-7367.
Acting Executive Director
Keystone Exam Performance Level Cut Scores for Algebra I, Literature and Biology, as approved by the State Board of Education, are as follows:
Performance Level Cut Scores
Keystone Exams: Algebra I, Biology & Literature
Content Area Below Basic Basic Proficient Advanced Algebra I 1200-1438 1439-1499 1500-1545 1546-1800 Biology 1200-1459 1460-1499 1500-1548 1549-1800 Literature 1200-1443 1444-1499 1500-1583 1584-1800
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-1357. Filed for public inspection August 5, 2011, 9:00 a.m.]
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