High school juniors may have to dig deep into the recesses of their memories in the upcoming school year, thanks to a new state testing system.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has announced the new Keystone Exams will replace the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, tests for 11th-graders. The state has used the PSSAs to meet testing requirements in the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Juniors will take the Keystone Exams – which are designed to be “end of course” exams – in literature, algebra and biology. The PSSAs are given in math and reading.
While local school officials applauded the move to the Keystone Exams, some said the last-minute rollout could create problems.
Dr. Martin D. Handler, Brandywine Heights superintendent, said students take courses like algebra or biology at different times in their school careers.
“We may have a junior who hasn’t seen algebra since seventh grade,” he said.
Dr. Randall A. Grove, Conrad Weiser superintendent, said he’s a strong supporter of the Keystone Exams, but he echoed Handler’s concerns. He said most Weiser students take algebra in ninth grade, meaning the material will likely be a little stale by the time it’s tested in 11th grade.
Click here to read the full article published in the Reading Eagle (August 11, 2012).