Research-based approach to testing

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Research-based approach to testing

As part of its legislative push to reduce the reliance on standardized testing, PSEA has put forth a report filled with policy recommendations.

The report, “A Balanced and Research-based Approach to Standardized Testing,’’ has three key points:

  • Reduce the amount of classroom time spent on the PSSAs. Students and teachers are spending an inordinate amount of time on the PSSAs, and policymakers are placing too much of an emphasis on test results as a measure of student achievement.
  • Separate testing from graduation requirements. PSEA’s goal is to ensure that statewide standardized testing is not part of a student’s graduation requirements. Rather, graduation should be based on multiple measures of student achievement.
  • Strengthen support of low-performing schools. The state’s education system should use statewide standardized tests only for government accountability requirements, emphasize growth controlled by socioeconomic status, and recognize the need for multiple measures of student achievement.

“This report outlines the principles educators believe are right for students and schools,’’ said PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak.

“It is based on empirical research by prominent educators, and hopefully the recommendations will be used to help guide policy. We are optimistic because at the federal and state levels, those on both sides of the political aisle are coming to the realization that standardized testing is off the rails.

“Educators understand that standardized tests are never going to go away completely, and that they have a role in public schools, if used properly. But teachers want to go back to educating the whole child with a full and rich curriculum.’’

The full report is available at