Group Says PA’s New School Performance
Profiles Stress Tests Over Learning
7, 2013- Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG- Pennsylvania's new School Performance Profile aims to be a public schools
report card, but the state's largest public employees' union says it fails the
test. According to Mike Crossey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education
Association, at the root of the problem is the profiles' dependence on
standardized testing results.
they want to talk about is, 'How do we test?' and 'How do we grade?' and 'How
do we evaluate somebody?' We spend so much time testing, that we're taking time
away from teaching and taking time away from learning," Crossey charged.
schools union chief declared that, while the profiles could have effects on
school funding and teacher job status, they ignore the widespread cuts all
Pennsylvania schools have suffered under the administration of Governor Tom
cut a billion dollars from our school funding," he said. "So, in
addition to more testing, the teachers in those classrooms are looking at
larger class sizes, less resources, less personnel, fewer textbooks, less
technology, less tutoring, but more tests."
said the profiles are also short-sighted in terms of producing pupils who
emerge with well-rounded sets of skills that can set them up for success.
that our students, when they grow up, they're not the best-tested kids in the
world, they're prepared to join the world of work and be good citizens here in
the state of Pennsylvania. That's our ultimate goal," Crossey said.
state Department of Education plans to use the scores from the School
Performance Profile in the 2013-2014 school year to gauge how students are
learning and how teachers are doing their jobs. Crossey said 90 percent of the
scoring is based on how pupils perform on tests like the PSSA and the Keystone