Understanding Philadelphia’s Tests

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Publication Date
March 2003

Abstract

As part of the public awareness initiative of the project Learning from Philadelphia’s School Reform, the authors prepared this center spread article (also included in Spanish translation), which compares the two standardized tests currently in use in Philadelphia schools. These are the PSSA (a state-mandated test given in selected grades for reading, math, writing, and science) and the TerraNova (a test designed for national use and introduced by the District this year in grades 2-10 as a replacement for the SAT-9). The article also provides two sections with related information: 1) a ‘glossary of testing terms,’ which explains fundamentals of standardized tests and how these tests will be used in the context of new federal legislation (the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002) which requires states to give standardized tests annually, analyze data in specific ways, and track progress toward a required goal; and 2) ‘frequently asked questions about standardized testing,’ which addresses many of parents’ concerns about how standardized tests may be used with and affect their children.

Authors

  • Eva Travers
  • Andrew Sparks