Education
Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2017


Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2017

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 is our county performing?

In 2017, 55% students in Berks County passed the PSSA Grade 8 English Language Arts exam, the same as in 2016. In contrast, 36% of historically underperforming students in Berks County passed the exam, up slightly from 33% in 2016 and 30% in 2015. Berks' historically underperforming eighth graders made up 44% of all eighth graders tested. Berks County's 2017 rates for both historically underperforming students and all students were below the statewide rates of 39% and 59% respectively.

Among local school districts, Schuylkill Valley had the highest 2017 proficiency rates for both groups of students with 74% for historically underperforming students and 86% for students as a whole (historically underperforming students made up 46% of test takers). Boyerton Area had the next highest proficiency rates, again for both groups, at 72% for all students and 51% for historically underperforming students (though historically underperforming students made up 35% of test takers). Reading had the lowest proficiency rates, at 8% for historically underperforming students and 18% for all students (historically underperforming students made up 49% of test takers).

For both all students and historically underperforming students, Berks County's proficiency rate was higher than Lebanon County (53% and 30%) and lower than Lehigh (58% and 37%), Schuylkill (58% and 44%), Lancaster (62% and 40%), Chester (68% and 37%) and Montgomery (73% and 47%). Berks' share of historically underperforming students in eighth grade is higher than Chester (35%) and Montgomery (37%), but lower than other comparison counties which range from 47% (Lancaster) to 52% (Lehigh).

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.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2017
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania59%39%
Berks County55%36%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County68%37%
Lancaster County62%40%
Lebanon County53%30%
Lehigh County58%37%
Montgomery County73%47%
Schuylkill County58%44%
School Districts
Antietam School District27%12%
Boyertown Area School District72%51%
Brandywine Heights Area School District69%41%
Conrad Weiser Area School District61%40%
Daniel Boone Area School District71%51%
Exeter Township School District60%41%
Fleetwood Area School District64%44%
Governor Mifflin School District52%33%
Hamburg Area School District64%46%
Kutztown Area School District59%38%
Muhlenberg School District54%47%
Oley Valley School District58%32%
Reading School District18%8%
Schuylkill Valley School District86%74%
Tulpehocken Area School District53%44%
Twin Valley School District67%39%
Wilson School District72%47%
Wyomissing Area School District71%43%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2017
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania72,70824,887
Berks County2,589732
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County4,199813
Lancaster County2,872879
Lebanon County720201
Lehigh County2,181723
Montgomery County5,4961,307
Schuylkill County800301
School Districts
Antietam School District144
Boyertown Area School District403101
Brandywine Heights Area School District6113
Conrad Weiser Area School District12836
Daniel Boone Area School District18150
Exeter Township School District18249
Fleetwood Area School District12030
Governor Mifflin School District16854
Hamburg Area School District9331
Kutztown Area School District5416
Muhlenberg School District14386
Oley Valley School District7515
Reading School District17840
Schuylkill Valley School District11345
Tulpehocken Area School District5521
Twin Valley School District16133
Wilson School District35786
Wyomissing Area School District10322

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2015
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania58%37%
Berks County54%30%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County66%34%
Lancaster County62%40%
Lebanon County55%32%
Lehigh County56%34%
Montgomery County74%50%
Schuylkill County56%41%
School Districts
Antietam School District27%22%
Boyertown Area School District71%45%
Brandywine Heights Area School District59%33%
Conrad Weiser Area School District45%17%
Daniel Boone Area School District74%46%
Exeter Township School District69%45%
Fleetwood Area School District59%27%
Governor Mifflin School District56%39%
Hamburg Area School District66%56%
Kutztown Area School District63%32%
Muhlenberg School District55%41%
Oley Valley School District55%37%
Reading School District13%13%
Schuylkill Valley School District79%57%
Tulpehocken Area School District48%32%
Twin Valley School District75%54%
Wilson School District75%55%
Wyomissing Area School District69%42%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2015
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania74,75624,093
Berks County2,589743
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County4,508842
Lancaster County3,056888
Lebanon County741213
Lehigh County2,095688
Montgomery County5,9481,403
Schuylkill County752289
School Districts
Antietam School District168
Boyertown Area School District36970
Brandywine Heights Area School District6916
Conrad Weiser Area School District8813
Daniel Boone Area School District21741
Exeter Township School District21249
Fleetwood Area School District12116
Governor Mifflin School District17757
Hamburg Area School District12145
Kutztown Area School District7012
Muhlenberg School District14761
Oley Valley School District7214
Reading School District140140
Schuylkill Valley School District11726
Tulpehocken Area School District5017
Twin Valley School District19049
Wilson School District31383
Wyomissing Area School District10026

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population Ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Increasing
Local Government Spending Increasing
County Government Spending Decreasing
School District Spending Increasing
Quality Early Childhood Centers Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending 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 on High School Reading Increasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage by Household Type Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Health Status Decreasing
Managed Medicaid Enrollment Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Maintaining
Adults Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Children Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Youth Who Are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Vacant Housing Units Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Maintaining
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Increasing
Tourism Spending Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Charitable Contributions as a Percentage of Income Increasing
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Decreasing
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing