PNS Daily Newscast - April 9, 2020 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspends his campaign for president. And COVID-19 is ravaging the black community in some areas, including Milwaukee.

2020Talks - April 9, 2020 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders drops out of the race for president, though he assured supporters yesterday his movement will continue. A federal judge ruled this week a lawsuit in Florida awaiting trial will apply to all people with former felony convictions, not just the 17 plaintiffs.

Group Says PA’s New School Performance Profiles Stress Tests Over Learning

Teachers' union says new school performance profiles rely heavily on testing, less on learning
Teachers' union says new school performance profiles rely heavily on testing, less on learning
October 7, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's new School Performance Profile aims to be a public schools report card, but the state's largest public employees' union says it fails the test. According to Mike Crossey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, at the root of the problem is the profiles' dependence on standardized testing results.

"All they want to talk about is, 'How do we test?' and 'How do we grade?' and 'How do we evaluate somebody?' We spend so much time testing, that we're taking time away from teaching and taking time away from learning," Crossey charged.

The schools union chief declared that, while the profiles could have effects on school funding and teacher job status, they ignore the widespread cuts all Pennsylvania schools have suffered under the administration of Governor Tom Corbett.

"They've cut a billion dollars from our school funding," he said. "So, in addition to more testing, the teachers in those classrooms are looking at larger class sizes, less resources, less personnel, fewer textbooks, less technology, less tutoring, but more tests."

Crossey said the profiles are also short-sighted in terms of producing pupils who emerge with well-rounded sets of skills that can set them up for success.

"So that our students, when they grow up, they're not the best-tested kids in the world, they're prepared to join the world of work and be good citizens here in the state of Pennsylvania. That's our ultimate goal," Crossey said.

The state Department of Education plans to use the scores from the School Performance Profile in the 2013-2014 school year to gauge how students are learning and how teachers are doing their jobs. Crossey said 90 percent of the scoring is based on how pupils perform on tests like the PSSA and the Keystone Exam.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA