PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Public Schools District had been making steady improvement, but the 2012 PSSA exams showed a decline in academic performance district-wide in both math and reading.

Superintendent Linda Lane says the achievement score fell to 2010 levels – about a 2 percent decline. While disappointing, she says the numbers do not represent a dramatic retreat.

“So our overall trajectory still is certainly positive but the fact of the matter is we’re not satisfied with this as you might guess,” she said.

But the retreat was enough to put the majority of schools in corrective action status under the No Child Left Behind law.

Only six of the district’s 56 schools made AYP, adequate yearly progress. And Lane said the district must do better.

“If we can have effective teaching in every one of our classrooms in Pittsburgh every single day, we can do what we need to do for our kids,” she said.

But making that task even more difficult, the district will go into to the new school year with about 200 fewer teachers, aides and support personnel.

“Our reality is our reality,” she said. “We can bemoan it and say how difficult it is and frankly I told our principals, ‘Yes, I’m not saying your job has been made any easier nor has mine, however, we still are obligated to educate our children.”

Allegheny Traditional Academy which made adequate yearly progress is a bright spot in an otherwise dismal showing.

The coming school year will determine whether the district’s performance was a blip or the start of a disturbing trend.

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