Pennsylvania Students Face New Round Of Standardized Tests

Mike DeNardo
April 09, 2018 - 4:45 am
Student Tests

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Students in Philadelphia and across the state are sharpening their number-two pencils. Standardized tests begin Monday for students at Pennsylvania schools. 

This round of tests is shorter and later than previous years. Under changes announced by the Wolf administration last fall the PSSA exams for third through eighth-graders now begin a week later, and the eight-hour tests should take about 20-percent less time. 

"The fact that the test is later in the school year does give our students more opportunities to get good instruction," said Mark Vitvitsky, the principal of Philadelphia's Bache-Martin School.

READ: Philly School District To Revamp More Classrooms To Boost Literacy

And Vitvitsky says it may help students who are apprehensive about a change in routine.
"The anxiety that some may feel can be allayed because the format is a little bit less intensive," he said.
The Governor's move comes amid growing national resistance to standardized tests. Vitvitsky acknowledges the importance of the PSSAs, but says it's not the primary measure.
"I can't say that the scores mean nothing. What I will say is that we focus on how much growth our students make," he said. "We don't focus all of our instruction on the state assessment. Our goal really is to give students access to the best possible instruction that we can."