Education
Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2018


Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2018

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 2018, 56% students in Berks County passed the PSSA Grade 8 English Language Arts exam, almost the same as in 2017. In contrast, 35% of historically underperforming students in Berks County passed the exam, up slightly from 34% in 2017 and 33% in 2016. Berks County's 2018 rates for both historically underperforming students and all students were below the statewide rates of 43% and 62% respectively.

Among local school districts, Schuylkill Valley had highest 2018 proficiency rates for all students as a whole at 77%. Wilson had the highest proficiency rates, for historically underperforming at 54% (though historically underperforming students made up 63% of test takers). Reading had the lowest proficiency rates, at 20% for both historically underperforming students and all students (historically underperforming students made up 97% 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 (59% and 39%),Lehigh (62% and 42%), Schuylkill (58% and 42%), Lancaster (65% and 45%), Chester (71% and 43%) and Montgomery (76% and 53%). Berks' share of historically underperforming students in eighth grade is equal to Lehigh and higher than all other comparison counties which range from 37% (Montgomery) to 49% (Lancaster) 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, 2018
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania62%43%
Berks County56%35%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County71%43%
Lancaster County65%45%
Lebanon County59%39%
Lehigh County62%42%
Montgomery County76%53%
Schuylkill County58%42%
School Districts
Hamburg Area School District65%52%
Kutztown Area School District72%51%
Antietam School District45%30%
Muhlenberg School District50%43%
Oley Valley School District72%50%
Boyertown Area School District71%47%
Reading School District20%20%
Brandywine Heights Area School District62%38%
Schuylkill Valley School District77%52%
Conrad Weiser Area School District59%41%
Tulpehocken Area School District60%41%
Twin Valley School District71%41%
Daniel Boone Area School District73%51%
Wilson School District66%54%
Wyomissing Area School District73%53%
Exeter Township School District70%44%
Fleetwood Area School District61%32%
Governor Mifflin School District62%41%

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 8 English, 2018
All StudentsHistorically Underperforming
Pennsylvania76,81827,630
Berks County2,712911
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County4,626967
Lancaster County3,0711,053
Lebanon County811246
Lehigh County2,312850
Montgomery County5,9371,511
Schuylkill County773271
School Districts
Hamburg Area School District11142
Kutztown Area School District7623
Antietam School District3612
Muhlenberg School District14891
Oley Valley School District8120
Boyertown Area School District37184
Reading School District211201
Brandywine Heights Area School District7119
Schuylkill Valley School District12933
Conrad Weiser Area School District9629
Tulpehocken Area School District5719
Twin Valley School District18737
Daniel Boone Area School District18845
Wilson School District11358
Wyomissing Area School District10639
Exeter Township School District21543
Fleetwood Area School District11523
Governor Mifflin School District20971

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
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%
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%

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
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
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

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 Maintaining
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
Employment to Population ratio Maintaining
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 Increasing
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 Increasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Decreasing
Student Performance on High School English Decreasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Maintaining
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Increasing
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 Increasing
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 Increasing
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 Maintaining
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