The Keystone exams are given in high school, or in some cases to younger students who take Algebra I, Literature, and Biology, generally at the end of the course.
They are offered in the winter, spring and summer. Students with high scores on International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Algebra, Biology or Literature courses can skip the Keystone test in that subject. Special education students can be exempted entirely, and parents may opt out their children, but only for religious reasons. A 3rd grader will generally take the PSSA for a total of five hours and 40 minutes over the course of a week. The 4th-grade test, which includes science, takes more than eight hours. Keystone tests, each with one multiple-choice and one open-ended section, take two to three hours.
PDE says that PSSA scores help teachers pinpoint students who need additional help and determine how the curriculum and instruction could be improved. But scores are also used to evaluate teachers and schools. But they can take it as many times as they want, and schools must provide supplemental instruction. Students can also complete the alternate Project Based Assessment for that subject to meet the graduation requirement.
That is an 8- to week series of activities based on the same subject matter as the exam developed by educators. They must be finished by January and will be graded by panels set up by PDE. In science, 68 percent scored Proficient or Advanced. On the Algebra I Keystone, 64 percent of all students scored Proficient or above and 44 percent of historically underperforming students did so.
On the Biology Keystone, 59 percent of students were Proficient or above and 37 percent of historically underperforming students met the mark. The assessment is criterion-referenced meaning that it is tied to the expectations of learning in math. Those expectations are that students will become proficient in the following topics: numbers and operations, measurement, geometry, algebra and data analysis probability, statistics.
Questions are given in multiple-choice and open-ended formats. Students are presented with both fiction and non-fiction upon which multiple-choice and open-ended questions are based.
Keystone tests, each with one multiple-choice and one open-ended section, take two to three hours. PDE Released Tasks. Key Trends Financial Self-Sufficiency. Search Our Site. Teachers and districts complained that curriculum materials from the state were inadequate and late to arrive. Spending for Local Governments.
Specific genres of literature are targeted for different grade levels so that content on the assessments is grade-level appropriate. The Mathematics Assessment for students in all grades and 11 have multiple-choice questions and opened-ended questions. The questions are scored differently, multiple choice items are worth one point and open-ended questions are scored on a scale. Students have minutes for the assessment and timing accommodations are offered to students who require them.
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