While students will still be required to take the Keystone Exams, they will not be barred from graduation if they don’t pass, thanks to a bill signed into law in February 2016. The requirement that they pass has been postponed until the 2018-19 academic year to give the state time to study whether the tests should be given at all and to develop alternatives to evaluate proficiency.
Some school districts and other groups across the state opposed the tests, which include science, math and literature. The superintendent of the West Chester Area School District indicated that some struggling students might even give up on graduating and simply drop out.
“Our members know from solid research and from our own classroom experience that forcing kids to take too many high-stakes standardized tests takes time away from actual teaching and real learning,” noted PSEA president Jerry Oleksiak.
CAPS applauds the leadership in Harrisburg that recognizes that high-stakes tests are inherently flawed and looks forward to a discussion about other ways to assess achievement and readiness for graduation.