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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 19, 2017 11:56 AM
From: Senator James R. Brewster
To: All Senate members
Subject: Use of State Standardized Tests
In the future, I will introduce legislation that would ensure we’re only using state standardized test scores for two things: 1) compliance with the new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and 2) calculation of growth scores (otherwise known as PVAAS).

Testing has taken over our public education system. Everything in our schools is driven by the need to prepare and perform on federally-required state standardized assessments. I’ve heard from educators about the stress students feel leading up to PSSAs. We, as policymakers, were so concerned about the impact of high-stakes testing that we delayed the Keystone Exam graduation requirement. I believe it’s time we take another important step.

We will never succeed in reducing the emphasis on testing in our schools if we maintain and/or add additional uses for the test scores. If the federal government is going to require states to continue to test kids each year, then we should only use the tests to meet federal compliance standards.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB659