Education
Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2019


Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2019

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 2019, 50% students in Berks County passed the PSSA Grade 8 English Language Arts exam, down from 56% in 2018. In contrast, 30% of historically underperforming students in Berks County passed the exam, down from 35% in 2018. Berks County's 2019 rates for both historically underperforming students and all students were below the statewide rates of 38% and 58% respectively.

Among local school districts, Wyomissing Area had highest 2019 proficiency rates for all students as a whole at 79%. Schuylkill Valley had the highest proficiency rates, for historically underperforming at 60%. Reading had the lowest proficiency rates, at 19% for both historically underperforming students and all students (historically underperforming students made up 98% of test takers).

For both all students and historically underperforming students, Berks County's proficiency rate was the lowest among comparison counties, lower than Lebanon County (58% and 36%), Lehigh (59% and 40%), Schuylkill (52% and 37%), Lancaster (60% and 37%), Chester (69% and 40%) and Montgomery (71% and 45%). Berks' share of historically underperforming students in eighth grade is similar to Schuylkill (56%) and higher than all other comparison counties which range from 34% (Chester) to 55% (Lehigh) of test takers.

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, 2019
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania58%38%
Berks County50%30%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County69%40%
Lancaster County60%37%
Lebanon County58%36%
Lehigh County59%40%
Montgomery County71%45%
Schuylkill County52%37%
School Districts
Exeter Township School District66%52%
Fleetwood Area School District51%27%
Governor Mifflin School District50%37%
Hamburg Area School District38%20%
Kutztown Area School District75%41%
Antietam School District46%35%
Muhlenberg School District34%25%
Oley Valley School District67%51%
Boyertown Area School District73%52%
Reading School District19%19%
Brandywine Heights Area School District75%49%
Schuylkill Valley School District73%60%
Conrad Weiser Area School District57%30%
Tulpehocken Area School District56%26%
Twin Valley School District65%42%
Daniel Boone Area School District65%38%
Wilson School District65%44%
Wyomissing Area School District79%55%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2019
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania71,50824,155
Berks County2,447850
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County4,346864
Lancaster County2,742823
Lebanon County823249
Lehigh County2,205806
Montgomery County5,4641,283
Schuylkill County691280
School Districts
Exeter Township School District18151
Fleetwood Area School District10320
Governor Mifflin School District16663
Hamburg Area School District5714
Kutztown Area School District6711
Antietam School District3817
Muhlenberg School District10256
Oley Valley School District8629
Boyertown Area School District38193
Reading School District238233
Brandywine Heights Area School District8518
Schuylkill Valley School District11239
Conrad Weiser Area School District10018
Tulpehocken Area School District5411
Twin Valley School District13641
Daniel Boone Area School District15836
Wilson School District9838
Wyomissing Area School District10326

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 County67%34%
Lancaster County62%40%
Lebanon County55%32%
Lehigh County56%35%
Montgomery County74%50%
Schuylkill County56%41%
School Districts
Daniel Boone Area School District74%46%
Wilson School District60%50%
Wyomissing Area School District69%42%
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%
Antietam School District27%22%
Muhlenberg School District55%41%
Oley Valley School District55%37%
Boyertown Area School District71%45%
Reading School District13%13%
Brandywine Heights Area School District59%33%
Schuylkill Valley School District79%57%
Conrad Weiser Area School District45%17%
Tulpehocken Area School District48%32%
Twin Valley School District75%54%

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 County4,494837
Lancaster County3,056888
Lebanon County741213
Lehigh County2,095688
Montgomery County5,9481,403
Schuylkill County752289
School Districts
Daniel Boone Area School District21741
Wilson School District9337
Wyomissing Area School District10026
Exeter Township School District21249
Fleetwood Area School District12116
Governor Mifflin School District17757
Hamburg Area School District12145
Kutztown Area School District7012
Antietam School District168
Muhlenberg School District14761
Oley Valley School District7214
Boyertown Area School District36970
Reading School District140140
Brandywine Heights Area School District6916
Schuylkill Valley School District11726
Conrad Weiser Area School District8813
Tulpehocken Area School District5017
Twin Valley School District19049

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Maintaining
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Maintaining
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population ratio Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Decreasing
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Increasing
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Quality Early Childhood Centers Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 English Decreasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Increasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 English Decreasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Decreasing
Student Performance on High School English Decreasing
Student Performance on High School Math Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Maintaining
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Maintaining
Living Wage Maintaining
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Increasing
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
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 Decreasing
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing