Superintendent voices impact of Keystone Exams

Ridgway Area School District Superintendent Dr. Michael O'Brien discussed the impact of the Keystone Exams during Tuesday night's board of directors meeting.The Keystone Exams are part of Pennsylvania's new system of high school graduation requirements and are designed to help school districts guide students toward meeting state standards by assessing their proficiency in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Literature, English, Composition, Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History, World History, and Civics and Government.O'Brien noted giving a presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 3 to board members during a work session."I gave a presentation on our work session showing the 'globalness' of the impact of instituting the Keystone Exams-- from analyzing curriculum from K through 12 to looking at potential appropriate courses, not only for developing the skills that are needed in each level, but then also to provide the scaffolding and resources for those students who are finding difficulty in meeting the expectations of the Keystone Exams," O'Brien said. "One of the things I still find extremely puzzling from our state legislators, as well the PDE [Pennsylvania Department of Education], is one component of the Keystone Exam process; if the students choose to or are having difficulty passing the test, they can choose to do a project that has been approved; they have yet to create what the project is or what it looks like, so we passed a law without creating a mechanism for students to be successful and I find that very puzzling."When we talk about laying out a plan and putting it into law, yet there is no plan. I'm a little bit puzzled by that for some of our students that may need that option." Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.Next meetingRidgway Area School District Board of DirectorsTuesday, Feb. 146:30 p.m.Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary Library