A standard part of school life

Standardized testing the norm for high school students

Morgan Stewart

As students, we have been taking tests since the very early days of our educational journey. Some of these state-mandated tests include the IOWAS, the PSSAs, the Keystones, the CDTs, and some of us will voluntarily take or have taken the PSATs and the SATs to help better us in further education. Standardized tests have been a huge part of our school careers, because, each year, a majority of the teacher’s curriculum is based on what we will be tested on.

Eighth graders spend the most time on preparing for and taking these tests. Freedom Area eighth graders have to take the Writing, Reading, Science and Math PSSAs. Additionally, students taking Honors Algebra are required to take the Algebra Keystones. These spring exams require a lot of in class preparation.

“Math is hard this year, but [the teachers] are trying their best,” Eighth grader Leah McNear said when asked if she felt that her teachers were preparing her for these tests.

Geometry and Algebra II Keystones have also been in the works to possibly be added to this curriculum. These tests have been delayed until 2020 due to budget limitations.

“They actually field tested [the tests] and we had students here take field tests in Geometry and Algebra II around 2010 or 2011, a long time ago,” High school math teacher Mr. Edward Shephard said.

People are recently becoming more and more critical of standardized testing in general, and,also, there is skepticism if the new Keystones tests will even be used in schools.

“They will probably completely go away, given the new atmosphere people have concerning tests. More and more people are kind of against more and more testing so I think the momentum is going to be against them starting,” Shephard said. “If I had to bet money on them showing up or not showing up, I’d bet against Geometry or Algebra II Keystones ever happening.”

In the 2012-2013 school year, former high school principal Mr.Tim Dadich started on changing the breakdown of credits per class and the the graduation requirements. The Class of 2017 and younger have to pass the math, literature and biology Keystones in order to graduate. Before this change, passing the Keystones was not a graduation requirement. This, however, was a state implemented change that took effect for the 2013-2014 school year.