BASD prepares to administer mandated standardized tests

Written by on May 12, 2021

BASD prepares to administer mandated standardized tests

By Chloe Nouvelle

May 12, 2021

Photo | Nchole Yeo / Flickr

This year, there wasn’t much that was standard about K -12 education except for standardized tests. Those are still on the books. 

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Bethlehem Superintendent Joseph Roy doesn’t think the state should be sitting kids down to take Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, PSSAs, this year.

“What the PSSAs were designed to measure is a normal school year. And this wasn’t that,” Roy says.

But the Pennsylvania Department of Education says schools must test. So Bethlehem came up with plans to do just that. And to the surprise of no one, COVID is causing complications.

More families are opting out of the testing.

So the question for Bethlehem is: What do you do with the kids whose families say no to exams?

“How do you administer tests under the strict rules of the state for standardized testing and have the kids who are opted-out also have regular classes?” Roy asks. 

Roy says for schools in which about 70% of students opt out, classes will go on as they normally would. But test-takers in the affected grades will be separated out so they can take the PSSAs.

“In schools where it is not a high percentage, those students who have opted out will have to stay home and do online assignments on the testing days,” Roy says. 

PSSAs in Bethlehem are scheduled to begin later this month.

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