Keystones and PSSAs Essential Even During Pandemic

Standardized testing such as the Keystones and the PSSAs are taken yearly to see how students are performing and if they are operating at grade level. Due to the recent pandemic, parents, teachers, and students are uncertain of whether the testing should be continued this year or held off until the education system gets back to normal.

 Standardized testing is crucial for teachers, students, and parents. Some argue that students have been bounced around from in person to virtual most of the year and should not have standardized testing pushed on them, but the PSSAs and Keystones are essential to see how much the students have learned during the course of the year. Faculty in the school district need to be aware if students are where they need or are far off-course, compared to pre-coronavirus schooling and if they need to change their curriculum around to get the students back on track.

People who oppose standardized testing claim that the standardized tests will not benefit students in an academic way. In reality, these annual tests will actually give parents an idea of how the child is performing compared to other students in the state/district and will be informed how to help their child accordingly. This will benefit students and parents by letting them both know how they are achieving.

Others argue that these tests will cause unnecessary stress on the students. Initially, the thought of taking the PSSAs is stressful and nerve-wracking. After the test is complete, the stress will be in the past and the students will experience less stress because teachers will be informed what students do and do not know and will incorporate things into the year’s curriculum and know to take things slow, since some material wasn’t taught by last year’s teachers.

The Keystones and PSSAs are annual standardized tests. Without them, the teachers, parents, and students will come into the next year unprepared, stressed, and unsure. Standardized testing is crucial and essential for the upcoming school years and should be kept and practiced despite the coronavirus outbreak.