Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: Eryn Spangler, Press Assistant SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Education, Round-Up, Schools That Teach, The Blog Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Governor Wolf joined Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera, education advocates, and educators at Susquehanna Township Middle School to announce a reduction in PSSA standardized testing.“As I have traveled the commonwealth on the Schools That Teach tour, I have heard from parents, students and educators concerned about the amount of time devoted to taking standardized tests,” said Governor Wolf. “This reduction will ease the stress placed on our kids, and will allow students and teachers to focus more on learning than on testing. This change should also reassure parents that we’ve listened to their concerns about over-testing.”The Pennsylvania Department of Education worked with stakeholders to address the concerns of teachers, students and parents, and complete a reduction in PSSA testing by 20 percent for grades three through eight.Take a look at the coverage: WITF: Shorter standardized tests coming to PA public schools“This change will allow students and teachers to focus their classroom time on getting the education they need, rather than preparing for one exam,” [Governor Wolf] said…”We’re not reducing–we’re preserving, in fact–the effectiveness for measuring student progress,” Wolf said. “We understand the accountability issue, we understand the need for understanding how we’re doing in educating our children.”Philly.com: Gov. Wolf announces plan to reduce test-taking time for Pa. studentsThe State Department of Education plans to reduce one math section and one English section in the Pennsylvania System for School Assessment exams, which students take in grades 3 through 8. That should reduce the amount of time students spend taking the test by an average of 20 percent to 25 percent, depending on their age, meaning 93 minutes less for math and reading exams, according to the department.Lehigh Valley Live: Pa. students to spend less time on state tests this year“There is no doubt that reducing the actual time students spend taking state tests is good for our students,” said Dolores McCracken, of the Pennsylvania State Education Association. “Gov. Wolf today reaffirmed what educators have been saying for a long time – that too much emphasis on standardized testing interferes with teaching and learning.”The Intelligencer: Bucks, Montgomery school administrators pleased with shorter PSSA test“Anything that provides more instructional time in the classroom is going to directly benefit all of our students,” Central Bucks Superintendent John Kopicki said. “Reducing the amount of high-stakes assessments is definitely a positive step.”TribLive: Western Pa. educators welcome Wolf’s call for less state testing“This is certainly a step in the right direction,” Greensburg Salem School District Superintendent Eileen Amato said by email. “While accountability is important,” continued Amato, “it is also important to realize that standardized tests have a narrow purpose to that end. We are happy the conversation is moving towards expanding the state’s view of assessment to look at student learning through a much wider lens.”The Times: Wolf’s cut to PSSA testing draws applause from all corners“The fact you’re testing less gives you more of an opportunity to teach,” said Aliquippa School District Superintendent Pete Carbone, who acknowledged the reduced testing time “lightens the load a little bit” when it comes to the stress felt by students. “A third- or fourth-grader should not feel pressured that they have to score advanced or proficient on a test,” Carbone said. “School should be an enjoyable place for them to learn and to want to learn.”Citizens’ Voice: Changes coming to yearly state tests“Reducing the amount of time testing on PSSA is to be applauded,” Wyoming Area Superintendent Janet Serino said, adding she is hoping for “the realization that the PSSA is only one form of assessment and should not be overwhelming to students, teachers or parents.”The Morning Call: Pennsylvania cutting student PSSA test questions, teacher prep time for examsThe changes, which begin this spring, should reduce the eight hours of testing time about 20 percent in PSSA math and English exams in grades 3 through 8. Depending on the school, that would give teachers at least an extra day and a half for regular classroom instruction.Associated Press: Gov. Wolf: Standardized test changes to lessen test-taking time[Governor Wolf] said the changes are being made in response to concerns from parents, teachers and students about the amount of time they must dedicate to taking standardized tests…The Wolf administration said it hoped to make additional changes to further lessen the disruptiveness that federal mandated standardized testing can produce. Wolf Administration Announces Reduction in Standardized Testing (Round-Up) SHARE TWEET August 15, 2017
Hayes said that occurrence is “Exhibit A” of the inspiration behind the “Make ‘Em Believe” t-shirts and motto that have fueled the 2014-15 season.Now, the Badgers find themselves face-to-face with Kentucky again, no doubt invoking the memories from last season’s game. Gasser knows that while Harrison’s shot was the deciding factor, it’s not the sole reason the Badgers lost.“We were literally one possession away from a national championship,” Gasser said. “It wasn’t necessarily the last couple of possessions, it could’ve been throughout the entire 40-minute game.“Obviously it’s a heartbreaking loss, but it makes this year’s team what it is. You just gotta take the positives of it.”Especially this week, the Badgers have more pertinent tasks to tend to, Hayes said.“That play is a year behind us,” Hayes said. “And we have more important things, like the games ahead of us, to focus on.”The task is Kentucky, and a win Saturday night could erase the bad memories from April 5, 2014 from the Badgers’ minds forever. Josh Gasser’s alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. in the middle of the season. It’s time to wake up and head over to the Kohl Center training facilities for lift.What propels Gasser and his teammates out of bed? Is it their overall work ethic and desire to get better? Absolutely.But they also do it for April 5, 2014.Because no matter how hard the Badgers of the 2013-14 Final Four team try to push the memory of that day out of their heads, it will always be there, and it has served as motivation for this year’s Wisconsin men’s basketball team.From that day, it is one particular moment that’s especially painful. It’s when Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison elevates from close to 30 feet away over the outstretched hand of Gasser and nails a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left to put the Wildcats up one and send his team to the national championship game.“You try not to think about it much. It’s one of those games and moments that you just don’t want to think about, but unfortunately sometimes it creeps in your head a little bit,” Gasser, a fifth-year senior, said. “It’s something that we’ve just put on the back burner and moved on from it, and I think we’ve done a good job of learning from a game like that and pushing the momentum forward and learning from it and getting better from it.”Gasser, a student of the game who takes preparation and scouting seriously, said he’s never watched film of the game.Sophomore forward Nigel Hayes wishes he could erase April 5, 2014 from his memory too.Hayes scored only two points in seven minutes in a year he had been named Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 7.7 points and 17.4 minutes per game.“I feel that I didn’t contribute to the team in a way that I should have,” Hayes said. “As I’ve said before, all I had to do was be average statistically, but I was below average.”The loss to Kentucky stuck with Hayes on an individual level, as it inspired his rigorous workouts over the summer, he said. The work has clearly translated into improvement, as he now averages 12.4 points per game.Hayes put the work in to be ready next time he found himself in a situation like last season.“I worked hard in order to make sure that I was better,” Hayes said. “So that if I’m in that situation again, and here we are in the exact same situation as last year, that I would be able to perform better.”Junior forward Sam Dekker wishes he could forget April 5, 2014.Instead, he didn’t allow himself to, by transporting the chair he used in the locker room during last season’s Final Four in Arlington, Texas back to the Badgers’ locker room in Madison.A locker room renovation displaced the chair (Dekker has no idea where it is), but it served an important purpose.“It sucks,” Dekker said of losing his chair. “A, that was kind of a cool chair, and B, I used because that was my shrine from the Final Four, remembering we gotta get back.”Frank Kaminsky wishes he could forget April 5, 2014.For Kaminsky, the hangover from the game lasted the first few weeks following the final buzzer. But once workouts and preparation for this season started, he used the loss as a motivating factor.“I haven’t really thought about it much this season because we’ve focused on getting back to the Final Four,” Kaminsky said. “But now is the time where you can remember a moment like that and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”There’s outside motivation too, like this tweet from ESPN talk show host Bomani Jones, which he posted after fifth-year senior Duje Dukan sent out a picture of Wisconsin receiving its Final Four rings.
The Gators (25-5, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) continued a troubling trend for the defending national champions, who have lost three of four after a 17-game winning streak. “I don’t think people should look at us for slow starts. I don’t understand why Tennessee and Vanderbilt don’t get credit,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “When teams are playing against a team that’s won so much, teams are going to come out ready to play.” The Vols (21-9, 9-6) dominated Florida until the Gators started making a run late in the second half. Tennessee had a 17-0 run in the first half and were ahead by as many as 27in the second half. No. 12 Pittsburgh 80, West Virginia 66: The host Panthers (25-5, 12-3) remained in contention for the host Big East regular-season title. BYU 62, No. 25 Air Force 58: Austin Ainge scored 14 points as the visiting Cougars (22-7, 12-3) clinched at least a share of the Mountain West Conference title. Chris Lofton scored 21points, and host Tennessee pulled away from No. 5 Florida in the first half and held on for an 86-76 victory Tuesday night. “When we play at home, we’re hard to beat,” Lofton said. “It’s the crowd. You’re at your home gym and everybody is with you. I feel like we come out and play hard at home.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!