Keystone Testing in Pennsylvania

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Governor Wolf’s 2016 approval of a bill that makes Keystone Exams a requirement in all Pennsylvania schools is a mistake.

 

Students across Pennsylvania struggle with their keystone exams in order to graduate high school.

 

Under this new law, students must take the tests until they reach proficient or higher. It is now mandatory for students to pass their keystone exams in Algebra, English, and Biology in order to graduate from high school. The highest score on each exam will be displayed in the student transcript, which is a big deal because they will be accessible to colleges.

 

Students are pressured with passing the keystone exams so they can get into their dream college.

 

One problem with this new law is that it doesn’t apply to students graduating in the class of 2017 and 2018. This sets up an unfair system where some students are placed at a disadvantage just because of the year they were born.

 

Another problem is that schools in Pennsylvania do not have all the equipment they need to be prepare. Teacher, Honey Polis-Bodine, at Franklin Learning Center stated “I’m against it because we do not have the resources… it seems like the questions they ask on the keystones are different from the resources we have… it puts our students in disadvantage.” Some schools may not have the technology or other resources to use in order to be experienced in testing which makes students feel stressful.

 

Former sophomore student, Shardave Cooper, said “They don’t really see how smart you are, they just see how good you are in taking tests.” Cooper also mentioned “I made straight A’s last year, but i got basic on my keystones”. The keystone exams clearly make a difference in determining if students are “intelligent” or not.

 

Keystone exams just measure how good students are as test takers and how well they can memorize material since it’s just answering questions from things you have learned.

 

Author: Kimberli Pantoja

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