High Stakes Testing

For years, Pennsylvania’s educators and parents have advocated for a reduction in the number of high- stakes test required, arguing that they have a negative impact on education and students. Most notably, their concerns centered on the time lost for instruction when students have to prepare for and take standardized tests, as well as the stress and anxiety that it causes to so many of them. That’s why 2018 brought some welcome changes.The length of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) test was reduced by Gov. Wolf by an average of 20 percent in grades three through eight, saving two days of testing per year.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, additional changes will further reduce the burden of standardized testing when the timeframe for the PSSAs is reduced from three to two weeks and is scheduled for later in the school year.

In October 2018, the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a law that provides additional ways for students to meet the high school graduation requirements beyond the Keystone Exams. With the exam graduation requirement already on hold until the 2020-21 school year, this bill will take effect when that delay expires.