August 30, 2016
The idea was hatched during the Rendell administration as a way to increase accountability. The plan was to require that students pass an exam in order to graduate high school. The idea was embraced by the Legislature and various education interest groups. Ten exams were supposed to be created, but only three were completed: algebra, literature and biology. Students began taking the tests in 2012 and the program was due to go into effect for the class of 2017. A funny thing happened on the way to implementation.
March 4, 2016
ISSUE | STUDENT TESTING It could get worse The opt-out movement has had a real impact, with more parents refusing the tests for their children ("As testing increases, so do calls for an end," Sunday). Even President Obama has spoken out about the negative impact of over-testing. But the testing industry is striking back: The new plan is to replace end-of-year standardized tests with what could be daily testing. The core of education will consist of modules of programmed instruction that students will work through online and be tested on, which will drastically diminish the role of teachers and increase profits of technology companies.
February 29, 2016 |
Last year, a small, angry band of parents and teachers in the Lower Merion School District took on a big challenge: convincing their neighbors that the intensifying emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests was harming their children's education. This year's challenge: coming up with enough yard signs so converts to the cause can broadcast their displeasure with the coming Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA, tests given in grades three through eight. Their opt-out message - "Our kids & schools are more than a score" - has popped up on curbsides around the affluent Main Line suburb.
December 17, 2015
By Walter Bowne These writers may have all failed a standardized test for any number of "infractions. " Sandra Cisneros: "My grandmother. " Michael Kaufman: "This story is about prejudice and stupidity. My own. " The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "But this is not the way out. " Fragments. One-sentence paragraphs. Use of dialogue. Too much voice. Not directly answering the prompt. Use of contractions. As a teacher of journalism, composition, and rhetoric for almost two decades, I spend the first semester reteaching writing.
October 6, 2015 |
An open revolt against standardized testing is spreading among some Pennsylvania school boards and administrators - but not in at least one Chester County district. In fact, most of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District's board members actually like standardized tests and are enthusiastic boosters of the Keystone and Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests. One even publishes a blog extolling their virtues, says they improve performance, and criticizes their detractors.
July 9, 2015 |
Charging that standardized tests harm students and waste government resources, a group of teachers and parents took to Independence Mall on Tuesday to promote the small but growing movement to opt out of such testing. The 25 protesters were joined by Jesse Turner, an education professor at Central Connecticut State University, who set out from Connecticut on June 11 on a march to the federal Department of Education in Washington to highlight and protest testing policies. Turner denounced the exams alongside teachers who held up signs - "Real Education, Not Data" - and used a microphone to call on Pennsylvania to divert its testing budget to arts programs and libraries.
May 15, 2015 |
On the first day of the spring Keystone exams, some Philadelphia high school students walked out while others "opted out" of the tests that soon will be required to graduate. "It's important to fight against standardized tests," said Gian Carlos Rodriguez, 16, a sophomore at Penn Treaty High School in Fishtown, who identified himself as an organizer of the Wednesday protest. "Some people are bad test-takers. " About a dozen students showed up at Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, then left the building while the test was being administered first thing in the morning, principal Lisette Agosto said.
April 15, 2015 |
After school let out Monday, the first day of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, a half-dozen people - students, parents, and grandparents - picketed outside the Olney Transportation Center to protest the standardized tests. Standing on the medians at Broad Street and Olney Avenue, they held signs that read, "No PSSA for Me," and, "I Am Not a Score!!" They passed out forms for parents and guardians to sign and give to their children's principals to opt their children out of the tests.
March 14, 2015 |
TRENTON - As a controversial new test has come under scrutiny in recent weeks from students, teachers, and parents across the state, Gov. Christie's education commissioner on Thursday defended it with an appeal to "social justice" for New Jersey's children. During a two-hour legislative hearing, Education Commissioner David Hespe sought to quell concerns about the state's administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. Opponents worry that schools do not have sufficient resources to prepare students, that the test limits instructional time, and that it will have consequences for students who don't perform well.
February 21, 2015 |
From a Washington Township third grader to grandparents, educators, and parents, speaker after speaker at a public hearing Thursday rose to voice displeasure - or worse - with New Jersey's emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests. Most had come to complain about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a new and controversial exam aligned with Common Core curriculum standards. It will be given to third through 11th graders statewide starting March 2. "PARCC is a not-yet validated test that is wasting valuable classroom time for both teachers and students," said Natalia Reyes, an Eastampton mother of three, speaking to a state student assessments study commission at Camden County College in Blackwood, where the hearing was held.