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E-mail:  mtobash@pahousegop.com

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988 East Main Street
Suite A
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
Phone: 570-385-8235
Toll-free: 855-271-9384
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm

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Borough Building
200 S. West St., Williamstown
Phone: 717-647-7208
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PO Box 202125
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2125
Phone: 717-260-6148

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It’s Standardized Testing Season in Pennsylvania
4/21/2016
It’s mid-April, and K-12 students have only a few more weeks until the 2015-16 school year is in the books. This is the time of year where classes and curricula should continue, while students and teachers prep for spring field trips and other end-of-the-year events the kids worked hard for and look forward to all year.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the reality. It is standardized testing season in Pennsylvania, and that means daily classroom schedules are disrupted so that students can abide by one-size-fits-all testing procedures, instead of learning things that will serve to be valuable in their future endeavors.

Standardized testing season is overly stressful and not productive to learning things kids need to be successful. Essays about the opera and knowing the difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes isn’t practical knowledge. I understand students are in school to learn and tests measure knowledge, but too many of these tests have replaced teaching kids to write their signatures or how to make change for a dollar.

For these reasons and plenty of others, I am sponsoring a bill which would lessen the time spent on standardized testing in our public schools. The school system needs to meet quality standards and be held accountable for the results it’s producing – but at what cost?

Pennsylvania taxpayers have paid well over $70 million to have the Keystone Exams developed and implemented; however, the expense is only part of the problem. The unintended consequences that go along with these standardized tests are extensive.

My legislation would eliminate the development and implementation of the seven pending Keystone Exams (English Composition, Algebra II, Geometry, United States History, Chemistry, Civics and Government, and World History). It would also prohibit the PA Department of Education or the State Board or the State Board of Education from establishing any minimum level of student performance on a Keystone Exam or other statewide assessment as a graduation requirement.

I have talked with business leaders in our area about this issue. Time and time again, they say they’ll never ask someone who walks into their business looking for a job what they scored on the Keystone Exams. They want to know that he or she took the time to learn a skill. They want employees to know how to work through a problem.

My legislation is a dual effort to ensure our students are receiving a quality education with problem solving and critical thinking skills and that taxpayer dollars are being wisely used. I thank our teachers for the effort they put into teaching our students, as it is vital to the overall well-being and economic success of our community.

Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin)

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
717.705.2032
kcorbin@pahousegop.com
RepTobash.com / Facebook.com/RepTobash
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