PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - May 13, 2021 

President Biden taps Tracy Stone-Manning to be director of Bureau of Land Management; and Colorado schools get new tools to help students distinguish between news, commentary and disinformation.

2021Talks - May 13, 2021 

Republicans oust Liz Cheney from her leadership role, Dr. Anthony Fauci urges more vaccinations, NAACP leaders voice support for voting rights legislation, and Nancy Pelosi is optimistic about the infrastructure bill.

Bills to Reform Standardized Testing Get Broad Support

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Bills would let districts decide if standardized tests should be a graduation requirement. (Alberto G./Flickr)
Bills would let districts decide if standardized tests should be a graduation requirement. (Alberto G./Flickr)
 By Andrea Sears - Producer, Contact
April 27, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A package of five bills designed to rein in standardized testing in Pennsylvania schools is getting bipartisan support.

The goal of the bills, introduced on Tuesday, is to take some of the focus off standardized tests through policies that make sense for students and teachers.

According to Jerry Oleksiak, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the bills address concerns that the emphasis on high stakes testing has interfered with teachers' ability to do what they're supposed to be doing – educating their students.

"They would help to reduce the amount of testing, the time of testing, the time of preparing for the test, remediating for the test, and also the expense for the school districts," Oleksiak explains.

The bills would require that exam results only be used to comply with federal law, let districts decide if the exams should be required for graduation and give parents more latitude to opt out.

Oleksiak says the primary purpose of some standardized testing is to evaluate teachers and schools. But he doesn't believe they give a fair assessment.

"Tests are just one way to look at how a child is doing in school, and it's a snapshot,” he points out. “It's not going to give you a full picture of how well the student's doing, how effective the teacher is or how good the school is doing."

Oleksiak says some schools have cut back courses, extra-curricular activities and other things students need to spend more time preparing for tests.

Parents and educators have been raising concerns about the over reliance on standardized tests for several years.

Oleksiak maintains the bills introduced this week show that state lawmakers have heard those concerns.

"It has bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate,” he states. “They're still circulating co-sponsorship memos, so I think this will generate more support the more that people understand the value of it."

Best Practices