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Schools forced to choose money over education

Students all around Pennsylvania are preparing themselves for the Keystone exams. Keystones and PSSAs are required Pennsylvania State tests. By senior year, if a student still did not pass the Keystones then the student will not graduate. The tests are not easy.

Ninth graders take the Biology Keystone May 13 – 15 and 18 and the Algebra May 19 and 20. Not only are Keystone exams soon approaching, but so are PSSAs. Why is standardized testing a thing and why must all students be required to take them? Standardized tests are unwanted and not needed.

Students all around the country take their state’s required standardized tests. Teachers prepare their students for state tests all year long. Education is no longer about learning to expand a child’s mind and future, for it is now only about passing a state test. State tests are all part of Common Core. The definition of Common Core by Google is “The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade.” On the official website a video explains what Common Core is. The video says “It helps keep everything fair for everyone.” Common Core in itself, is not bad. It gives structures to the learning environment to ensure students are learning what they need to. It is how students are tested to see if the techniques of Common Core are working that is not fair or right by any means. The problem is how these Common Core Standards are assessed.

Take these words into consideration, “high-quality academic standards” and “ These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do that at the end of each grade.” When students are taking a standardized test they are all given the same high-quality academic standard based questions. Everyone is different, every student is not going to be able to obtain and recite the same information learned throughout the course of one year. At this school students are divided in to different ability level classes. It does not make sense that even though students are in different levels they are still all required to take and pass the exact same test.

There is no valid reason for students to be forced to take the PSSA. The official website of the Pennsylvania Department of Education , states the PSSAs are used to help teachers place students in learning levels and to see if they need extra attention. Students are prepared for taking these tests all year long. It would be less stressful for students and easier for teachers to simply look at the year worth of grades, rather than a huge week long test grade to see where the student should be placed.

Keystones are used for students to graduate high school. Other than the fact that the test is used to make sure the student is ready to move on to higher education, there is no good reason for students to be required to take the test. If a student has made it through 12 grades and passes twelfth grade, they are prepared to move on to higher education. They have already proven themselves for 13 years, they should have to prove no more. The No Child Left Behind Act established the way schools are funded for standardized testing and is the real reason for standardized tests.

Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska and Puerto Rico have not adapted to Common Core. States only adapted to get extra money. Schools act as if they test students for their own good when in reality they want extra cash. Students work so very hard and stress so much. Schools take advantage of students for their own good. Students are tired of it. It is much similar to use a students grades on tests they have worked on all year long. It would be less stressful for teachers, less stressful for students and fair to all students.

Jordyn Schwartz spoke out by writing a letter on her first time experience on taking the Keystones. It explains every feeling perfectly and is a great example of students all around the state. is the web adress to her letter. State testing is a joke and does no good for students.

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