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Keystone Tests Have Wilson Worried

Superintendent says next month's Keystone exams are 'a big unknown' for Wilson.

Pennsylvania’s new system of achievement testing is prompting some anxiety in the Wilson Area School District.

At Monday night’s school board meeting, Superintendent Doug Wagner acknowledged that the upcoming introduction of the Keystone Exams was taking the district into uncharted academic territory.

“It’s a big change -- it’s a big unknown -- that has us concerned,” he said. “The Keystone exams are expected to be considerably more difficult than the PSSA exams.”

On Dec. 3 and 4, Wilson Area High School juniors will be the first in the district to take the new exams, which will replace the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for grades eight and above.

One potential stumbling block, according to Wagner, is that during the initial phases of the Keystone exam’s introduction in Wilson, students may be tested on material they have not encountered for years.

“Our teachers and administrators are working hard, but it’s difficult,” he said.

The superintendent recounted how his own knowledge of cellular biology, for example, had faded over the years, even though he once specialized in sciences in college.

In other news, Wagner’s $141,466 contract with Wilson ASD was officially renewed for five years. The matter had been on hold until other staff contracts were settled.

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