Sunday, June 18, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Testing Non-Reform

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Testing Non-Reform:

PA: Testing Non-Reform

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In Pennsylvania, our Big Standardized Test for high school students is the Keystone Exam. Its history is a sad study in BS Testing. Its future is cloudy. Unfortunately, while the Keystones may be on the way out, there's no reason to believe they won't be replaced with something worse.

Back in the (pre-Common Core) day, PA used the PSSA tests to measure student achievement of some sort for reasons of some sort. Our elementary schools still use the PSSA tests on the elementary level. But by the Fall of 2010 we were all being hyped up for the New! Improved! Keystone exams (I'm looking at some of the handouts from the era which were still tucked in a corner of my desk). 

For those of you who don't know what a keystone is, actually

Keystone plans were ambitious. Pennsylvania would offer "end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in various subject areas." The list was extensive-- Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Civics and Government, Geometry, English Composition, Literature, U.S.History, and World History. Note-- these were not just supposed to be Big Standardized Stand-alone Tests, but the actual final exam for these courses.

The graduating class of 2016 was going to take the first four-- Algebra I, Biology, Literature, and English Composition. And those tests were going to account for one third of their final course grade. Other tests were going to be field tested and rolled out in 2011, 2012 and 2015. 

Mostly that didn't happen. 

It's 2017, and only three of the tests have been completed. The Literature, Biology and Mathy 
CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Testing Non-Reform:

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