Pa. Department of Education cancels statewide assessments

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HARRISBURG, Pa (WHTM)  – The Pennsylvania Department of Education has decided to cancel all PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-20 school year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the press release, this also includes the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA).

“Our school communities are operating within unprecedented conditions,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “Schools are making extraordinary efforts to remain connected to students and families, to provide food service and to put appropriate systems in place to continue student learning. Assessments should not be the focus of school leaders right now.

“To be clear, all assessments are canceled for this year,” he added. “The department will submit the requisite waivers to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), but no schools in the Commonwealth will be administering these tests this year.”

PSSA testing was scheduled to begin April 20, while Keystone testing was scheduled to begin May 11.

According to Secretary Rivera, the department is monitoring emerging federal guidance and cooperating with other states to advocate for flexibility. According to the press release, the PDE will pursue appropriate waivers to the fullest extent allowable as soon as the USDE guidance is clarified

The USDE confirmed it will consider a “targeted one-year waiver of the assessment requirements for those schools impacted by extraordinary circumstances.”

Secretary Rivera added that PDE will continue to release The PDE will provide more information on the effects on accountability and school reporting as it becomes available.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website or follow PDE on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest

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