Children And Education
Student Performance on Grade 8 English

Decreasing


Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2021

What does this measure?

The percentage of students considered proficient or advanced on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Grade 8 English Language Arts exam, reported for both the total student population and those students defined as "historically underperforming." Pennsylvania defines historically underperforming groups as students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, and English language learners.

Why is this important?

The middle school reading examination serves as a checkpoint for high school preparation. Performance on this exam can help predict high school success in reading. Proficiency among historically underperforming students can show whether districts and education policymakers have made progress in closing the achievement gap between traditionally underserved groups and other students.

How does our county compare?

In 2021, 52% of students in Lancaster County and 19% of students in the Lancaster City School District passed the PSSA Grade 8 English Language Arts exam, down from 60% in the County and 26% in the District in 2019. In contrast, 32% of historically underperforming students in Lancaster County and 17% of historically underperforming students in the Lancaster City School District passed the exam, down from 37% in the County and 23% in the District in 2019. Lancaster County's 2021 rate for all students was slightly lower than the statewide rate of 53%. Its rate for historically underperforming students was slightly below the statewide rate of 33%.

When compared with surrounding counties, Lancaster County has the second-highest proficiency rate among all students, following Cumberland and Chester (both 61%), and the third-highest performance rate among historically underperforming students, following Cumberland (38%) and Chester (33%). Lancaster County's share of historically underperforming students in eighth grade (32%) is similar to York (32%), and higher than Berks (28%), Lebanon (25%) and Dauphin (25%).

Notes about the data

As assessments vary among states, it is not possible to include comparable data for the nation or other areas in this indicator. Data are from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The Spring 2020 PSSA was cancelled in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 2021 PSSA results were delayed. 2021 results may not reflect representative samples of the schools' students. Cross-year comparisons of proficiency are likely to be inaccurate for this reason.

Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2021
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania53%33%
Lancaster County52%32%
School District of Lancaster19%17%
Hempfield School District67%46%
Ephrata Area School District47%34%
Elizabethtown Area School District55%34%
Lampeter-Strasburg School District60%35%
Eastern Lancaster County School District54%37%
Donegal School District49%32%
Manheim Central School District54%29%
Conestoga Valley School District58%36%
Columbia Borough School District24%18%
Manheim Township School District61%36%
Cocalico School District52%30%
Penn Manor School District60%37%
Pequea Valley School District45%38%
Solanco School District57%43%
Warwick School District61%38%
La Academia Partnership Charter School0%0%
Lebanon County46%25%
York County51%32%
Dauphin County41%25%
Cumberland County61%38%
Chester County61%33%
Berks County46%28%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2021
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania45,07113,252
Lancaster County1,926566
School District of Lancaster7964
Hempfield School District23974
Ephrata Area School District13146
Elizabethtown Area School District12426
Lampeter-Strasburg School District11822
Eastern Lancaster County School District9930
Donegal School District8425
Manheim Central School District9620
Conestoga Valley School District13740
Columbia Borough School District179
Manheim Township School District19038
Cocalico School District9924
Penn Manor School District16546
Pequea Valley School District4524
Solanco School District11642
Warwick School District18736
La Academia Partnership Charter School00
Lebanon County622158
York County2,042619
Dauphin County797285
Cumberland County1,191289
Chester County2,169404
Berks County1,264376

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




INDICATORS TREND
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 English Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 Math Decreasing
Per-Student Spending Maintaining
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Decreasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
College Graduation Rates Decreasing
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Violent Crime Rate Maintaining
Incarceration Rate Decreasing
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population Density Increasing
Air Quality Increasing
Water Use Decreasing
Waterways Impaired by Pollution Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Workers by Occupation Not Applicable
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 Increasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Employer Size Not Applicable
Change in Number of Businesses by Sector Increasing
Change in Total Agricultural Sales Increasing
Spending for Local Government Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Veterans Living in Poverty Decreasing
Working Poor Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Median Home Value Maintaining
Occupied Housing Units Maintaining
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Rent Maintaining
Cost of Renting Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Health Status Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Mortality Rates Decreasing
Fatal Drug Overdoses Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Increasing
STEM Graduates Increasing
Science and Engineering Research and Development Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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