Keystone Exams debut for juniors in high schools
LEWISBURG – Juniors in high schools across the state are now taking the Keystone Exams in Algebra. The Keystone Exams are one component of Pennsylvania’s proposed system of high school graduation requirements and later in the school year, students will take Keystone Exams in biology and then literature.
Superintendent Dr. Mark DiRocco of the Lewisburg Area School District said they tried to prepare students for this new state mandated exam. He said, “We did as much preparation as we possibly could through the first semester of the school year. Our math teachers tried to review some Algebra I and Algebra II concepts for the juniors.”
However, DiRocco is not pleased with how the tests were debuted in the state. He said, “The state made a budget decision. They said they could not afford to continue running the PSSA’s for a couple more years, while they transitioned into the new Keystone Exams, which were supposed to be end of course tests. The kids aren’t supposed to take these tests until they finish the course. But, because they didn’t have a PSSA to give this year, now they are going to use the Keystone Exams as an overall eleventh grade test, which these exams were not designed to do.”
Dr. DiRocco says he is very concerned about what the Department of Education is doing in regards to this testing program. He says he doesn’t have much confidence in the current Secretary of Education and some of the things that are being implemented on the local level. But, DiRocco says they will work through it the best they can to prepare their students. (Ali Stevens)