What has changed since implementation of PA Core standards?

Channel 11 has embarked on a project aimed at giving you, the viewer, a voice in our newscasts. A number of questions were submitted to us online, and then visitors to our website got to vote on which question they wanted answered. The winning question was about what has changed since Pennsylvania Core standards were put into place in schools.

"If we want to create success and economic prosperity for Pennsylvania, we've got to have a good system of public education," said Gov. Tom Wolf.

Over the last several years, Pennsylvania implemented a new set of standards for students, known as "PA Core." The immediate result was a sharp drop in the annual PSSA test scores given to students each year.

11 Investigates dug through the data and found that in 2009, more than 60 percent of students scored either "advanced" or "proficient" in math. In 2016 the numbers had dropped to just over 30 percent.


11 Investigates took those numbers to the state, and Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania secretary of education warned that the PSSA scores don't tell the whole story.

"When you look at the reduction in terms of those scores, you know, pre-governor Wolf's administration and post, it was an absolutely different test. It's a much more rigorous test, it's a test aligned to rigorous standards," said Rivera.

Two years into the new tests, the numbers are still balancing out. This week, Wolf announced plans to reduce testing time for PSSAs. But officials warned that won't impact the state's emphasis on excellence.

"We're actually looking at multiple measures to build an accountability system that works to ensure kids are college, career-ready and working towards having a degree," said Rivera.