A new state high school standardized testing signed into law Thursday means more options for students to meet graduation requirements.
Moshannon Valley School District Superintendent John Zesiger said the district knows every student has a different career they want to pursue, and those careers may not match with standardized tests.
“We’ve always promoted that and we don’t want to be defined as just state standardized test scores, and this is a step in recognizing that there are other avenues for students to demonstrate their learning and their success,” Zesiger said.
Keystone standardized tests are based on how high school students perform in algebra, biology and literature.
With the new law, students have four options to graduation.
The first is to pass the tests, the others allow students to show graduation readiness through pre-apprenticeship programs, attaining industry-based certifications or demonstrating work that reflects a student’s career plan.
Tom Web teaches a Keystone literature class. He said while there are some negatives to the new law, like students may not feel pressured to try as hard when taking the tests, it also allows students to showcase their talents.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for kids with diverse backgrounds with diverse talents to do something other than a standardized test to show those talents,” Web said.
The school district currently requires students to pass the Keystone exams in order to graduate, but Zesiger said the school board will consider students’ best options with the new law.