Make room for Keystones

WORKING HARD  Mr. Garlic's reading class is working on questions in their book. They stay very focused when being in class to make sure they get everything done.
WORKING HARD
Mr. Garlic’s reading class is working on questions in their book. They stay very focused when being in class to make sure they get everything done.

 Sitting in school for an average six hours everyday then going home to do even more work is already enough for students to handle along with other activities but now the Keystones are adding even more stress to their lives.

The Keystones of the eighth grade year were only required from levels three and three point five. This year all ninth graders will take some type of Keystone. The test is an end of the year assessment in which the required kids must take in order to graduate. If they do not pass the Keystones the first time, they have to take it every year up until graduation or as an alternative, do a project.

 PSSA’s used to be the big test for the kids  but now the Keystones are said to be replacing the PSSA’s. The difference between  the two is that Keystones are much harder and every student from all levels take the same test.

 I don’t see much sense in that considering the fact that we have levels for a reason at our school. The different levels separate skills and abilities academically. For the kids who are academically challenged and have the take the same test that level three point five take, that is no where near fair for them. If they all take the same test, guess whose would be the highest? Exactly.

 Many students in three point five, the highest academic classes, say that the test was very difficult even for them. Most of the level three students who took it last year have said that they didn’t pass it or just barely passed. That just isn’t fair.

 In 2011, a total of 94,939 kids took the Algebra I test and twenty percent of the testers got below basic. Forty one point three percent  of the of them got basic, then leaving only twenty seven point three percent with proficient. Only eleven point three percent had advanced .The biology and literature were even worse. More than half failed the biology Keystones.

 If we proceed on with the Keystone testing, I have a feeling that all its doing for our school is hurting us. Students already have so much to worry about. Students work their  butts off everyday and now to pass the Keystones, they’ll have to work ten times harder. Cut us a break.