Starting on Monday, 11th-grade students across Pennsylvania will get their first official crack at the Keystone Exams, the state’s new series of annual standardized tests. The exams, designed to tie into the state’s Common Core standards and be more rigorous than the PSSA they are replacing, won’t count for the current crop of takers, but failing them will mean no diploma for members of the Class of 2017 and beyond. Some local school districts are already managing expectations downward:
Some districts are wary of the change. Students who took practice Keystone tests last year did not do well: less than 40 percent scored well enough to pass algebra I and biology, while about half made the grade in literature.
The suburban Philadelphia district of Council Rock is among those giving the exams next week. One concern is that many 11th-graders took algebra 1 so long ago that they need refresher lessons, Superintendent Mark Klein said. [CBS Philly]