Not as Easy as ABC Anymore

(August 27) -Same fluorescent lights, same color paint on the walls, same tiles on the hall floors, same pressure to pass standardized tests.

The return to school in the next two weeks may feel familiar to many students, but the similarities for teachers and administrators are strictly on the surface, a veneer of continuity hiding an upheaval of budget and curriculum.

The tectonic shifts include:

• Elimination of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests in 11th grade. An almost inevitable blemish on district academic achievements when compared to PSSA results in earlier grades, the math and reading tests for juniors are being replaced by …

• Implementation of the Keystone exams. This year, all 11th-grade students must take the tests in algebra I, biology and literature (with more subjects to come). Initially, Keystone test results will be used instead of PSSA 11th-grade tests to determine if a school meets federally mandated “Adequate Yearly Progress” toward the goal of all students scoring proficient or better in the tests. By 2017 students will need to pass Keystones to graduate.

Click here to read the full article by Mark Guydish published in The Times Leader (August 27, 2012)


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