PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (CBS) — Gov. Tom Wolf paid a visit to a Montgomery County middle school on Wednesday to announce changes to standardized testing in Pennsylvania.
Starting in the 2018-19 school year, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests will go from three weeks to two weeks, and they will be pushed back to later in the school year.
Wolf, speaking in the library of Colonial Middle School in Plymouth Meeting, says data gathered from the tests is important, but so is class time for teachers.
“[The tests have] interfered with the ability of students to learn and the ability of teachers to teach,” the governor said. “We want accountability, but we want to actually do a better job of allowing our teachers to do what they do best: teach. And our students to do what they do best. And that is learn.”
“The stress that the kids can feel because of the time taken with these tests is something that as a parent it’s hard to watch,” said parent and school board member Cathy Peduzzi.
Peduzzi says she thinks the new schedule strikes a balance.
“Because on one side there are parents who want less testing time,” she said, “and on the other side there is obviously the need to assess how students and schools are doing.”
The new schedule removes one section from both math and language arts and reduces questions in the science assessment.