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Students get ready for spring standardized tests

Eighth grade principal and standardized test administrator Brad Hatch.

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment which is also known as the PSSA is a standardized test administered to the students that attend public schools in Pennsylvania.  The PSSA is given annually to students in grades third through eighth.  The PSSA helps Pennsylvania meet federal and state requirements.  Brad Hatch is the eighth grade principal at AAJHS and is also an administrator for the PSSA.

Q.What are the responsibilities of being an administrator?

A. I’m the school coordinator for Standardized testing.  I make sure that all students receive appropriate accommodations and ensure the safe and secure handling of test materials.

Q. Does school funding have anything to do with the PSSA?  If so how?

A. It’s really just based on the number of students taking the test.  Printing the tests is the part that consumes most of the funds.

Q. Does standardized testing have anything to do with seventh graders being put into their levels?

A. It’s a comprehensive process, we meet with sixth grade teachers and talk about the students historical testing scores.  We do look at their PSSA scores, but not as much as their historical test grades.  We take teacher recommendations very seriously and put the students into the levels that the teachers think the students should be in.

Q.  Do you think standardized testing prepares students for something bigger?

A. State testing in a reality, every student in the country has to take these tests.  We just hope for success in these tests.

Q. What is a positive and a negative about standardized tests?

A. Well the positive is that we get information on how well the school and students are doing in the time that they prepare and take the test.  The negative is that there is less time for other activities because so much time is put into preparation.

Q. What would happen without standardized tests?

A. Well one things for sure we would have a lot more time for other activities because there would be no preparation needed.  It would also get rid of the constant focus on what we should be teaching the students.


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