WE NEED TO STOP KEYSTONE TESTING AS A GRADUATION REQUIREMENT!!!
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I am a parent of four children in the Pennsbury School District, in Bucks County, PA and I encourage you to sign this petition in order to demand the removal of the Keystone testing as a graduation requirement.
The Keystone Exam and/or Project Based Assessment graduation requirement is an unfunded mandate that deters from instructional time and student advancement.
While on the surface these exams may seem to make sense, when you peel back the layers, you quickly realize the financial, academic and social consequences of these new regulations.
One of the main issues is their one size fits all nature. The Keystone Exams are a roadblock to meeting the needs of individual learners. One test cannot be reflective of all educational efforts, work and capabilities over 12 years. The Keystone Exams have become destructive, rather than instructive, for Pennsylvania’s students.
Beginning with the Class of 2020, failing the keystone exam will result in remediation efforts that will severely curb access to elective courses and vocational-technical high schools that so often serve as the spark for future careers.
Keystone Exams are also robbing schools of time and energy that should be focused on classroom instruction. More and more days are being used for test taking and test preparation reducing the amount of important instructional time. The time involved in these processes and the various types of remediation that frequently occur simultaneously will prevent students from taking courses that are more essential to their chosen career goals, therefore inhibiting them from reaching their maximum educational potentials
In addition, the costs extend far beyond the staffing and alternative scheduling related to the exam sessions themselves, but also into the remediation that will come afterwards for students who do not pass the exam the first time. These are unfunded additional costs that our school districts will have to pay. But at the expense of what? Art, music, theater, sports? What will suffer or be eliminated in order to pay for the keystone exam instruction, facilitation and remediation? Additionally, the adverse impact that these exams have on the students with learning disabilities and their ability to graduate within four years must be taken into account as well.
As any special education teach will be able to tell you, some students with learning disabilities can and will completely grasp the concepts taught in the classroom, but when given a test they do not do well because of the nature of their disability. So then, what happens to these students when they can’t pass the exam and are forced into remediation for Biology, English and Algebra? Do they take no electives whatsoever in order to graduate on time? Do they spend countless hours after school with tutors (if their parents can afford it)? What exactly will our children have to give up in order to pass these exams?
Please sign this petition, write and call your locate state representatives and demand that they support removing the Keystone Exam graduation requirement. Our children are counting us to put a stop to this.
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