Frequently Asked Questions

What are these assessments and what does the data mean?

Each of these assessments are individual data points which come together to tell a larger data story.  These standardized assessments do not reflect the performance of the whole child but are pieces of data that are not reported in other areas of progress reporting and conferencing.  It is critical to remember the purpose of a benchmark assessment (easyCBM).  EasyCBM benchmark assessments are given three times a year (fall, winter, and spring). The fall and winter benchmarks are measuring students abilities based on grade level standards that they have NOT yet been taught. By the spring benchmark, you will see a more realistic perspective on where a student is as it relates to grade level standards. 

easyCBM Benchmark Assessment 

The easyCBM system was developed by educational researchers at the University of Oregon in close collaboration with school district partners across the United States. It is designed to give teachers insight into which of their students may need additional instructional supports as well as to provide a means by which they can measure the effectiveness of their teaching. System reports provide information that supports evidence-based decision making. In Upper Dublin, benchmark assessments in reading and math are administered three times a year (fall, winter, spring) for students in grades K-8.  

The easyCBM developers have emphasized that the goal of the system is to help facilitate data-driven instructional decision-making through enhanced reporting options. Specifically, the Benchmark assessments and reports can be used to: 

  • Identify students’ overall reading and math proficiency risk levels at their respective grades (ranging from “low risk” to “high risk”)

  • Monitor the progress of students during the course of the academic year through interim Benchmark testing (fall, winter, spring) 

  • Identify specific students (or groups of students) who may benefit from intervention or enrichment support 

  • Assist in determining allocation of school-based resources to support classrooms or grade levels in which students demonstrate increased risk

  • Students at or above the 50th percentile are considered at or above grade level at the time of assessment.  Students below the 50th percentile may require some additional instruction, intervention, or progress monitoring depending on other data points.   

In general, students with scores that are “green” on the portal are at low risk, students with scores that are “yellow” on the portal may have some risk that requires additional intervention or reteaching, and students with scores that are “red” indicate high risk for needing progress monitoring or other interventions.  


Information is provided about your child’s performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). This assessment is administered in grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and  math, and grades 4 and 8 in science. The assessment is aligned to the PA Core Standards that were  published in 2014. 

While these scores are used to evaluate a student’s academic proficiency, they are only one factor to  consider in your child’s overall educational attainment. 

You are encouraged to stay in communication with teachers and school administrators as you monitor your  child’s academic progress. 

For additional information about the PSSA, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website  at or contact your child's school.


The Keystone exams meet the federal accountability criteria of ESSA for the high school level.  Students must take the Keystone Exams for purposes of federal accountability. Failure to do so will affect a Local Education Agency (LEA) and school's participation rate.

The Keystone exams were created to replace the Grade 11 PSSA and serve as one component of Pennsylvania's statewide high school graduation requirement. Keystone Exams will help school districts guide students toward meeting state standards. The exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra I, Literature, and Biology. Learn more about Pennsylvania’s statewide graduation requirements.