Keystone Exams: A Better Testing Alternative?

Posted on December 6, 2010 by


The moaning and groaning one usually hears prior to the PSSAs may forever be replaced with a whole new chorus of moaning and groaning prior the Keystone Exams.

The Keystone Exams are intended to be a more effective standardized testing system that aims to replace the PSSAs and that will be administered to all students in eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. Students who fail an exam will require remediation on the specified subject area.

Whereas the PSSAs could only allow students to remediate using lengthy tests and/or projects that generally were more time-consuming than productive, the Keystone Exams offer numerous ways for districts to implement the testing program. A student may remediate the subject by completing a bridge project, which is administered at either the state or the local level.  Schools can also determine the degree to which the Keystone Exams, class grades, and school-administered final exams influence students’ final grades and graduation requirements.

One of the additional advantages of the Keystone Exams is that school administrators can file a waiver in the event that a recent tragedy has occurred to the student or the student’s family, thereby temporarily excluding him or her from the penalty of testing under a poor state of mind.

Students are most excited about the Keystone Exams because a high enough score on the exams may allow them to receive full credit for a subject without enrolling in the related course.

Once every five years, a representative from the testing service will check various data and test scores to see the effectiveness of the Keystone Exams. All in all, many consider The Keystone Exams to be a more efficient standardized testing system.

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