HARRISBURG – The Senate approved two measures this week sponsored by Senator Ryan Aument (R-36) that would study the effectiveness of standardized testing in schools and improve certification requirements for vocational teachers.
Senate Resolution 322 would direct the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee (LBFC) to study the effectiveness of standardized testing, including the Keystone Exams and SATs, and their use as indicators of student academic achievement.
“There is a vigorous debate regarding the effectiveness of the data produced by Keystone Exams and other standardized testing,” Aument said. “It is critical to ensure this data is reliable to provide teachers, schools, parents and taxpayers with feedback that will be useful in promoting a better system of education for students.”
Senate Bill 1104 would change the burdensome and expensive certification requirements for vocational teachers. The legislation would make Pennsylvania’s teacher certification requirements similar to mandates in other states.
In current practice, vocational teachers in Pennsylvania are required to take a number of classes that may have no bearing on the subjects the teacher will cover in the classroom.
“Career and technical education teachers are already required to have several years of industry experience in addition to meeting continuing education mandates in their field of study,” Aument said. “Piling up even more requirements will only chase away our best educators, which could have a negative impact on our ability to build a workforce that can meet the growing need for skilled labor.”
Contact: Jake Smeltz (717) 787-4420