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Achievement Indicator - Keystone Proficiency, Grade 10

Introduction

This achievement indicator, Keystone Proficiency Literature in Grade 10, examines which students scored Advanced or Proficient on the Keystone Literature Exam in tenth grade. This achievement indicator, Keystone Proficiency for Algebra I in Grade 10, examines which students scored Advanced or Proficient on the Keystone Algebra 1 Exam by the end of tenth grade.

The Keystone Exam standardized tests are one way to gain insights into students’ level of overall academic achievement in high school.  The Keystone Exams are designed to help school districts guide all students toward meeting state standards within the tested subject areas.  The Keystone Exams are one of the measures of accountability used to assess student progress and school performance across the Commonwealth. 

The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra 1, Literature, and Biology.  They serve a dual purpose of meeting federal accountability regulations and are one component of Pennsylvania’s statewide high school graduation requirement.  Students first participate in a Keystone Exam when enrolled in a Keystone-related course that is aligned to the Keystone subject area standards.  The Language/Literature/Writing course taken in Grade 10 is the related course for Wissahickon students to take the Keystone Literature Exam in May of that school year. Wissahickon students enrolled in Algebra 1 participate in the Keystone Algebra 1 Exam in May of that school year.  Students are enrolled in Algebra 1 as early as seventh grade.  Students who do not achieve an Advanced or Proficient score during the first administration of a Keystone Exam may retake the exam in subsequent years in an effort to pass the exam. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) reports Keystone Exam performance data on best scores attained by the end of eleventh grade. 

Historical data show disparities between race/ethnicity groups. As with many standardized tests across the country, the percentages of Black and Hispanic students who achieve a score of Advanced or Proficient are significantly lower than the percentages of White and Asian students who achieve a score of Advanced or Proficient. Limited access to culturally relevant resources, lack of differentiated instruction, lack of culturally responsive teaching practices, and lack of access to rigorous coursework are some of the potential factors that may lead to disparities in test scores. Additionally, cultural bias in standardized tests may also be a contributing factor. Racial disparities in standardized test scores are complex and multifaceted, and addressing these disparities requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the underlying factors that contribute to them, which is what the action plan below addresses.

Current Update: June 2023

Action Plan

English-Language Arts
  • Various assessments are employed to identify students’ strengths and areas of need and monitor progress relative to the Keystone Literature concepts and skills throughout the school year.  The measures include district diagnostic assessments, such as the Classroom Diagnostic Tools for Literacy, curriculum-based common unit assessments, and classroom-based formative checks for understanding. 
  • Teachers employ differentiated instruction practices and varied small-group instructional models for pre-teaching, reteaching, and extension of learning.
  • Students receive supplemental academic support through the Writing Lab during the day and Extended Learning Time and STARS tutoring after school.
  • Second-chance learning opportunities are available to students for the reteaching of reading and writing concepts and skills throughout each unit of study to achieve mastery.
  • Diverse pieces of literature and supplemental resources are used to provide multiple entry points to learning.
  • Through professional learning opportunities, teachers continue to build their capacity to cultivate a classroom community and embed culturally responsive teaching practices.
  • Teachers use multiple modes of communication to engage families in the instructional program.

 

Math
  • Various assessments are employed to identify students’ strengths and areas of need and monitor progress relative to the Keystone Algebra 1 concepts and skills throughout the school year.  The measures include district diagnostic assessments, such as STAR Math (Middle School) and Classroom Diagnostic Tools for Math (high school), curriculum-based common unit assessments, and classroom-based formative checks for understanding. 
  • Teachers employ differentiated instruction practices and varied small-group instructional models for pre-teaching, reteaching, and extension of learning.
  • Students receive supplemental academic support through the Math Lab during the day and Extended Learning Time and STARS tutoring after school.
  • Second-chance learning opportunities are available for students to participate in the reteaching of Algebra 1 concepts and skills throughout each unit of study to achieve mastery.
  • A variety of resources are available to students in the classroom and online to support learning and to review and practice essential math skills.
  • Through professional learning opportunities, teachers continue to build their capacity to cultivate a classroom community and embed culturally responsive teaching practices.
  • Teachers use multiple modes of communication to engage families in the instructional program.

 

Achievement Indicators - Keystone Proficiency, Grade 10

Click on the drop-down arrows to learn more about the Keystone Literature and Algebra I achievement indicators for Grade 10.