By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For several hours, school-board members, parents, school super-intendants, and the teachers’ union voiced their displeasure at a hearing Monday over Pennsylvania’s controversial Keystone Exams.

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The main issue with the standardized tests is a plan to use them as a graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2017, or students now beginning their freshman years.

State Senator Andrew Dinniman, minority chairman of the Senate Education Committee, says they learned quite a bit:

“We learned a great deal today, the school boards of southeastern Pennsylvania were able to express their opposition to common-course being used as graduation requirements, and I think we will we see compromises in the weeks ahead.”

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Any student who doesn’t pass the tests will require additional work – or remediation. The question among local school officials is who pays for that remediation?

The question among parents is how that extra work would affect their child, effectively punishing students who aren’t good test takers.

“And if this is putting my child’s self-esteem at risk,” one mother said, “who has pretty good self-esteem to begin with, what are we doing to the kids that don’t have the support and background of families like this?”

A vote on the tests will be held by the state board of education next month.

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