More than one way to assess college and career readiness

High stakes testing

More changes may be on the way when it comes to the Keystone Exams.

Keystone Exams are end-of-course tests in algebra, biology, and English literature. Beginning with the class of 2019, students will have to achieve proficient ratings on all three Keystone Exams in order to graduate.

But a recent report from the Pennsylvania Department of Education concluded that a one-time exit exam is not the only way to determine if a student has mastered a subject or is ready for post-graduate success.

The report recommends that graduation be based on a combined score on all three Keystone Exams or on the results of an alternate exam or course grades along with other evidence the student is ready to succeed beyond high school.

At a legislative hearing on the Keystone Exams this week, PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak said that "students are more than a test score," and that high-stakes tests like the Keystones should not be used "to bar otherwise successful students from earning a high school diploma." Read more about that hearing in the Delaware County Daily Times.

Bipartisan legislation passed earlier this year instructed the Department of Education to develop alternative ways to assess whether students are ready to graduate. State legislators are currently reviewing the department's report and recommendations.

Read Partners' resource, "Understanding Pennsylvania's Keystone Exams."



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