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22 Pa. Code § 4.51. State assessment system.


§ 4.51. State assessment system.

 (a)  The State assessment system shall be designed to serve the following purposes:

   (1)  Provide students, parents, educators and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance consistent with the Every Student Succeeds Act (Pub.L. No. 114-95).

   (2)  Determine the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of academic standards under §  4.12 (relating to academic standards).

   (3)  Provide information to State policymakers, including the General Assembly and the Board, on how effective schools are in promoting and demonstrating student proficiency of academic standards.

   (4)  Provide information to the general public on school performance.

   (5)  Provide results to school entities based upon the aggregate performance of all students, for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and for those without an IEP.

   (6)  Assess student proficiency in the Academic Standards for English Language Arts (Appendix A-2), Mathematics (Appendix A-2), and, through June 30, 2025, Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology (Appendix B), and, beginning July 1, 2025, Science, Environment, Ecology and Technology and Engineering (Appendix B-1) for the purpose of determining, in part, a student’s eligibility for high school graduation.

 (b)  The State assessment system must include PSSA assessments and Keystone Exams.

 (c)  Neither State assessments nor academic standards under §  4.12 may require students to hold or express particular attitudes, values or beliefs.

 (d)  The Department will make samples of State assessment questions, assessment formats and scoring guides available to the public after each administration of State assessments.

 (e)  To ensure that information regarding student performance is available to parents and teachers, State assessments developed under this section must include student names.

 (f)  Individual assessment results shall be used in planning instruction only by parents, teachers, administrators and guidance counselors with a need to know based upon local board policy on testing and in reporting academic progress.

 (g)  The Department and other Commonwealth entities are prohibited from collecting individual student test scores and may collect only aggregate test scores by school and district.

 (h)  The Board will authorize the expansion of the State assessment system through a revision of this chapter.

   (1)  The Board will not include National assessments as part of the State assessment system unless, upon consultation with teachers, counselors and parents representing students who have been identified under Chapter 14 (relating to special education services and programs), the Board determines the assessment is an appropriate means of assessing the academic progress of students identified under Chapter 14, or unless the General Assembly authorizes the use of a National assessment.

   (2)  Subject to paragraph (3), the Board will not, and the Department may not, be a governing state in any consortium for the development of a National assessment for the purpose of utilization as part of the State assessment system.

   (3)  The Department may continue to participate in a consortium to develop an alternate assessment to measure the academic progress of students identified under Chapter 14.

 (i)  The Department will implement provisions for security of the State assessment system, including the following:

   (1)  Action by a professional employee or commissioned officer that is willfully designed to divulge test questions, falsify student scores or in some other fashion compromise the integrity of the State assessment system as determined by the school district, ACTS or charter school, including a cyber charter school, shall be subject to disciplinary action under the Educator Discipline Act (24 P.S. § §  2070.1a—2070.18c).

   (2)  Cheating by students or employees other than those covered in paragraph (1) shall be subject to disciplinary action by the school district, ACTS or charter school, including a cyber charter school.

   (3)  Cheating or breaches of assessment security shall be reported to the Secretary as soon as detected.

 (j)  The Secretary is authorized to establish guidelines for the administration of the State assessment system.

 (k)  The Secretary will report each September to the Board and the General Assembly information and pertinent data regarding the State assessment system. The Secretary also will provide each school entity information and pertinent data for the school entity and its students.

 (l)  Children with disabilities and children with limited English proficiency shall be included in the State assessment system as required by Federal law, with appropriate accommodations when necessary. As appropriate, the Commonwealth will develop guidelines for the participation of children with disabilities in alternate assessments for those children who cannot participate in the PSSA or Keystone Exams as determined by each child’s individualized education program team under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and this part.


   The provisions of this §  4.51 amended under sections 121, 2603-B and 2604-B of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § §  1-121, 26-2603-B and 26-2604-B).


   The provisions of this §  4.51 amended February 15, 2008, effective February 16, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 872; amended January 8, 2010, effective January 9, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 240; amended February 28, 2014, effective March 1, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 1131; amended July 15, 2022, effective July 16, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 3946. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (371098) and (404271) to (404272).

Cross References

   This section cited in 22 Pa. Code §  4.24 (relating to high school graduating requirements); 22 Pa. Code §  4.51b (relating to Keystone Exams); 22 Pa. Code §  14.105 (relating to personnel); and 22 Pa. Code §  19.1a (relating to general provisions).

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