November 25, 2015

Changing the culture of toxic testing

PSEA has been calling for a moratorium on the use of PSSA and Keystone Exam results in high-stakes decisions about the proficiency of students and effectiveness of schools. Now, elected officials are listening.

State Rep. Karen Boback plans to introduce a bill to require a three-year moratorium, recognizing that schools need time to realign curriculum and to prepare students to take new exams based on the state's new academic standards.

"Standardized testing has directed too much attention to a few content areas that are easily tested, sacrificing lessons that build kids' natural curiosity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills," said PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak. "The high stakes associated with standardized tests have led to days of mindless test-prep and remediation. That's not real teaching, and it certainly isn't real learning."

Contact your state representative, asking him or her to co-sponsor Rep. Boback's bill.

Keystone Exam changes
State representative just passed a bill delaying the use of the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement until the 2018-19 school year. This bill is now in the Senate awaiting concurrence on amendments adopted in the House.

NCLB fix on the horizon
In Washington, a Congressional conference committee reached consensus for an ESEA reauthorization bill that reduces the emphasis on high-stakes testing. PSEA members and educators across the country continued to lead the charge to #GetESEARight. Get the latest updates here.




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