State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Shorter standardized tests coming to PA public schools

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 14, 2017 9:25 PM

Wolf says teachers and parents have expressed concern that test prep detracts from the school experience. (Photo from iStockPhoto)


(Harrisburg) -- The Wolf administration is making changes to standardized testing in Pennsylvania elementary schools. Governor Tom Wolf said Monday that the changes will mean students spending at least 20 percent less time on state exams.

Wolf said throughout his first term, he's heard repeatedly from parents and teachers that federally-mandated state testing sucks up too much class time.

So starting next spring, he said there will be a new test designed to combat that.

"This change will allow students and teachers to focus their classroom time on getting the education they need, rather than preparing for one exam," he said.

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests will still meet state Education Department standards.

"We're not reducing--we're preserving, in fact--the effectiveness for measuring student progress," Wolf said. "We understand the accountability issue, we understand the need for understanding how we're doing in educating our children."

The tests are given to kids in 3rd through 8th grades. They measure competency in English language arts, math, and in certain years, science.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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