PFT Pres Jerry Jordan on the Cancellation of PA’s Statewide Assessments

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March 19, 2020

PHILADELPHIA – This afternoon, after the announcement of the cancellation of statewide assessments including PSSA, Keystone, & PASA, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:

“The leadership shown by Education Secretary Pedro Rivera and Governor Wolf during the COVID-19 crisis has been extraordinary. At a time when uncertainty rules the day, and educators, students, and families alike are facing unprecedented challenges in their daily lives, the decision to cancel this year’s assessments is absolutely commendable.

“From frequent updates from Secretary Rivera’s team, to the leadership shown by Dr. Levine and her team at the Department of Health, I have been able to provide my membership with timely and informative updates with a host of guidance and resources. Our entire membership is grateful for the leadership of Governor Wolf and his Cabinet.

“The decision to cancel standardized testing is emblematic of who Secretary Rivera is: an educator. Before being appointed to Governor Wolf’s cabinet, he taught in Philadelphia’s public schools and, in fact, served as a PFT staff representative. It’s in times like these that having leadership with real on the ground experience matters most.”

“Our members know what their students need, and we have long fought against the relentless reliance on standardized testing. The decision to cancel this year’s assessments just makes sense, and it is a decision that is based on what’s good for children. This crisis is no time for our educators and young people to be worried about their performance on standardized tests.

“In addition to sharing resources from PDE, we have also been providing our membership with the latest guidance and information from Mayor Kenney and his team. Again, it is critical to have leaders in office who can provide important information at a time when the response under the President has been sorely lacking.”

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