Dept. of Ed Cancels PSSA, Keystone and other school exams

    (c) dglimages - stock.adobe.com

    On Thursday, Pennsylvania Department of Education officials announced the cancellation of all PSSA, Keystone and PASA testing across the state.

    The cancellation comes nearly a week after Gov. Tom Wolf ordered Pennsylvania schools to close amid growing concerns of a COVID-19 outbreak. 

    Wolf orders Pa. public schools closed for two weeks in response to coronavirus

    Education secretary Pedro Rivera said schools are already “operating within unprecedented conditions.” 

    “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,” he said. “Assessments should not be the focus of school leaders right now.”

    PSSA testing was scheduled to begin April 20.

    Keystone testing was scheduled to begin May 11.

    The Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) testing window is open; however, all testing was halted on Monday, March 16, when all public schools closed. 

    Rivera said that the department would submit requisite waivers to the U.S. Department of Education and “advocate for flexibility.”

    The U.S.Department of Education has already publicly stated that it would consider “one-year waiver assessments” for schools affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

    “To be clear, all assessments are cancelled for this year,” Rivera said. “The department will submit the requisite waivers to the U.S. Department of Education, but no schools in the Commonwealth will be administering these tests this year.”

    Cassie Miller
    A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.