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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 24, 2017 09:17 AM
From: Representative Eric R. Nelson
To: All House members
Subject: PSSA Test Timeline
In the next couple weeks, I plan to introduce legislation to improve the timeline for conducting PSSA exams. This bill will move the beginning of the PSSA testing window to three weeks prior to Memorial Day, but will still require PSSA results to be transmitted to school districts by August 15th.

The legislative goal is twofold. First, it creates a better opportunity for student success by allowing more teaching time to grasp the material. Currently, the timing for exams is in part driven by the contract with the test vendor, and presently, the assessment window lasts approximately two or three weeks beginning in March. This means that our kids are evaluated on a full year of material although months of school remain.

Secondly, it is my hope that shortening the turnaround time for the delivery of testing results will encourage PDE to investigate opportunities to shorten the PSSAs to accommodate this new window. Additionally, since it’s been a number of years since these contracts have been bid, this could also prompt PDE to pursue new contracts with alternative vendors, who may better meet our state’s needs, while still complying with federal requirements.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this common sense piece of legislation that can drastically reduce the burden these assessments have on our students and school districts.

Introduced as HB1561