High-stakes testing

PSEA is working with elected officials from both parties to reduce high-stakes standardized testing in our schools. A package of bills introduced in April will help move Pennsylvania toward that goal.

Legislative Package: Here's what the bills will do and how you can take action:


Local control over Keystone Exams' impact: This bill prevents the state from mandating that graduating students pass the Keystone Exams to get their high school diplomas. Instead, school boards will decide the academic impact of the Keystones.  Take Action Now
Use of test results: This legislation would mandate that PSSA and Keystone Exam results only be used to comply with federal law and growth-score calculations.  Take Action Now
Benchmark assessments: This bill prohibits public schools from purchasing assessments from a private vendor that are designed to predict a student's ability to succeed on the PSSA or Keystone Exam.  Take Action Now
PSSA testing timeline: The PSSAs would be administered three weeks prior to Memorial Day and provide the results to the chief school administrator no later than Aug. 15.  Take Action Now
Parent opt-out: Parents would be able to opt-out of standardized testing for religious, philosophical, or health concerns. State law currently allows only a religious opt-out.  Take Action Now

PSEA Policy Brief
A Balanced and Researched-Based Approach to Standardized Testing

PSEA Standardized Testing Policy BriefFor more than a decade, educators have been speaking out about the impact of toxic, high-stakes testing on our schools and students.

Recently, PSEA proposed some key policy solutions aimed at ensuring that standardized tests are used the way they were intended to be used so that they don't interfere with teaching and learning.

PSEA's Policy Brief, "A Balanced and Researched-Based Approach to Standardized Testing," includes three policy recommendations:

  • Reduce the amount of time spent on the Pennsylvania State Standardized Assessment (PSSA).
  • Separate Keystone Exams from graduation requirements.
  • Ensure that statewide standardized tests are used only for government accountability requirements.

PSEA will use this policy brief to guide conversations with lawmakers and form specific legislative proposals to address issues related to standardized testing.

Learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act at www.psea.org/ESSA

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