If you’re a teacher, student or parent, you’re probably sick of hearing about the state assessment tests, what with all the pep rallies, study sessions and such. But the tests are important. Even if we’re tired of hearing about them, no one can afford to take them lightly. State and federal funding, educators’ careers, communities’ reputations and even housing prices hinge at least partially on how well students do on the standardized achievement tests.
Is that unfair? To a certain extent, yes.
The Hellers are skipping the exams this year through a little-known provision of the state education law that allows parents to opt their children out of PSSAs and Keystone Exams for religious reasons. Their mother, Renee Heller, is part of a small but growing group of parents fed up with the emphasis at their schools on state-mandated high-stakes, high-stress tests