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Initial report shows Kutztown students performed well on Keystone Exams

By Dan Clark, For Journal Register News Service

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kutztown High School students performed well on the Keystone State Exam, but Kutztown School Board members discussed what should happen for those that did not perform well.
“The only reason we’re bringing it up tonight is because we said we would bring it up again,” Superintendent Kathy Metrick said.
However the board did not go into too much discussion about what should happen to students who perform poorly on the exam, because according to Kutztown Area High School Principal Rebecca Beidelman, overall, students performed very well.
“We don’t have the exact numbers compared to surrounding districts because only 10 of the 18 districts were represented at the meeting,” Beidelman said.
“The best way to characterize our performance is that we did very well but we need more information before we decide on anything,” President of the School Board Carl Ziegler said.
Beidelman said that in terms of the state, the Kutztown Area School District did better than the state average across the board.
“An interesting piece of conversation is that because the Keystone Exams are more difficult, it appears that as to the rest of the state, we did better,” Metrick said.
Metrick said that initially she thought that the district would not score as highly as the students did.
In Pennsylvania, the Keystone exams will become a requirement to graduate for the class of 2015.
Pennsylvania requires students to take the Algebra I, Biology and Literature Keystone Exam but students who are in high school now will not be required to pass the exams for graduation.
“I’m worried about the ninth graders now,” Beidelman said after the meeting.
Beidelman wants them to take the exams as if they need to pass to graduate. In other words, she wants students to take the test as if it did affect their ability to graduate.
One way to get them to take the exam more seriously is putting the exam results on the student’s transcripts, which is what the Kutztown Area High School has started doing.
The school board cannot presently take action for students who do not do well on the exams because the Pa. Department of Education has not released guide lines or passing grades for students who take the exam.