Keystone Exams shouldn’t exist

KEVIN SMITH

Altoona

The Keystones are exams that junior and senior high school students have to pass in order to graduate. However, I believe that these tests should no longer be a part of the school curriculum, let alone a graduation requirement.

What is on these tests is dependent upon state standards. These state standards happen to be very broad in what they require teachers to touch upon throughout the year. These broad standards cause two main problems, one of which is that only a small portion of what is taught is actually on the test.

This means that teachers have to cover a great number of topics throughout the year, all the while not knowing what to focus on, which can cause a topic that shows up on the test to not have been taught in depth to students.

The other problem is that there is simply too much that teachers are expected to teach, especially if the students won’t be evaluated on all of it.

The school year isn’t a very long one.

Even single snow days can throw off a teacher’s schedule.

This also ties into how it’s a problem that all levels in the school take the same test. A level-two teacher may not get around to teaching all of the topics that an honors teacher does because those students happen to learn at a slower pace.

COMMENTS