Are the Keystones Really Beneficial?


Signs like the one above are posted outside classrooms where the Keystone testing occurs. There are many restrictions and rules surrounding the exams, and teachers have little control over it because it is a state assessment.

Emmy McDonald, Staff Writer

The anticipated week of two-hour delays is long awaited  among the State College High School students. The Keystone testing took place from Monday, May 14 to Tuesday May 22nd. The Keystones are state administered tests, that are controlled by the government. They are given to students in Algebra 1, Biology, and eleventh grade English students. Students prepare all year for the exams but, are they really worth it? Is taking these tests valuable to High School student’s educations?

Some people don’t think they’re challenging at all. Freshman Dayo Olorunnisola, who took the Algebra 1 Keystones said, “I really didn’t think they are intellectually challenging at all, especially for people who excel at math, or did well in Algebra.” Although it might seem obvious, the information that students were being tested was only the basics of what they had learned and some thought they had over learned the material.

Freshman Natalie Kissell said, “I thought they were super easy and that we were extremely over prepared.”

Others including Freshman Holly Feese had the same opinions. She said, “I don’t think they were challenging at all, it was all on information based on what we learned in class. It was a pretty good measure of what we learned, but the problems weren’t very complex so it was just applying the basic principles.”

While it is clearly the general consensus that the extra sleep that comes with the two-hour delays is much appreciated, many students believe that the state-mandated tests are a waste of time. Some parents even choose to opt their children out of the Keystones. There is also the issue of students who are taking the advanced level of the courses. If the Keystones only assess based on the basic principles, there should be a different type of test, covering more in depth material for advanced students. The Keystone exams might be a good way to measure the skills of the students in Pennsylvania from the State government’s perspective, but State High students definitely disagree.