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Digital standardized tests becoming new norm

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(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania’s shift toward digital standardized school testing will save the state $6.5 million and hours of lost learning for students, according to Gov. Josh Shapiro.

The governor visited Northgate School District in suburban Pittsburgh on Thursday where he announced the administration’s plans to transition all schools away from paper tests.

“I’ve made it a point to listen to the voices of students, teachers, and parents in my administration, and I’ve heard loud and clear how much of a burden standardized tests can be,” Shapiro said.

About one-third of schools already use digital testing for the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and the Keystone Exams. The rest will follow suit over the next two years, the administration said.

Pennsylvania receives $600 million from the federal government to comply with the testing mandate.

Secretary of Education Khalid Mumin said although Pennsylvania takes a “relatively minimalist approach” to standardized testing, schools have said administering the tests eats up time better spent teaching students. The results come months too late for districts to make meaningful assessments of learning progress and necessary interventions.

“Our district strongly focuses on supporting the whole child, and the new changes will give us more time and resources to do this,” said Caroline Johns, Northgate’s School District’s superintendent.