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HARRISBURG (August 14, 2017) – Pennsylvania State Education Association Vice President Dolores McCracken issued the following statement today, after Gov. Tom Wolf announced that his administration plans to reduce the amount of classroom time devoted to standardized testing in Pennsylvania’s public schools by 20 percent.
“PSEA commends Gov. Wolf and his administration for the leadership they’ve shown on this important issue. There is no doubt that reducing the actual time students spend taking state tests is good for our students.
“Gov. Wolf today reaffirmed what educators have been saying for a long time – that too much emphasis on standardized testing interferes with teaching and learning. PSEA members are eager to work with the governor and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera to continue to make commonsense, research-based changes to our state’s testing policies.
“We want to make sure that our testing policies work for our students, teachers, and support professionals. Public schools are places where students learn. By creating a more balanced, research-based, and appropriate use of standardized tests in Pennsylvania’s public schools, we can find the right balance – and do what’s right for our kids.”
PSEA earlier this year released a policy brief on standardized testing aimed at reducing the amount of time spent on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests; separating Keystone Exams from graduation requirements; and ensuring that statewide standardized tests are used only for government accountability requirements. Find more information about it at www.psea.org/testing.
McCracken is a paraprofessional in the Council Rock School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 180,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.