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New incentives for juniors taking the PSAE

Madison Powers

The cover of the PSAE practice test booklet; the testing will be held on 4/27 and 4/28.

Madison Powers, Layout Manager

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On Wednesday, April 27, and Thursday, April 28 the juniors will be taking the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE). During these two days the students will be taking two tests: the ACT and the Workplace Skills exam. The ACT tests a student’s knowledge in English, Reading, Math and Science, while the Work Keys test focuses on essential workplace skills.

 Principal Pam Bylsma has sent out a letter to all juniors and their parents explaining the final exam policies for the following school year. The School Board has approved a one year pilot program that will be added to the final exam policy. A senior will be exempt from final exams if he or she:

• Meets or exceeds standards on the PSAE English and Reading test.
(-Exempt from the final exams 1st and 2nd semesters of one senior English course)

 • Meets or exceeds standards on the PSAE Math test
(-Exempt from the final exams 1st and 2nd semesters of one senior Math course)

• Meets or exceeds standards on the PSAE science test
(-Exempt from the final exams 1st and 2nd semesters of one senior Science course)

The school will be enacting the policy on a trial basis due to last year’s PSAE test scores. Last year was the first time RB did not meet state standards and the board and administration do not want that to happen again. They want to stress how important both tests are, not just the ACT.

Bylsma noted in the letter that there are multiple reasons for the lower test scores : “test fatigue” on Day 2 as a result of investing so much energy and concentration on the Day 1 ACT exam; a lack of understanding of the importance of workplace skills leading students to take Day 2 less seriously, and disconnect between the workplace skills exam and what it means on a personal level.

Bylsma feels that if the administration gives students an incentive, test scores will go up. These tests are not only important for the school’s future, but the students as well. The PSAE results appear on a student’s transcript for colleges. It will show universities whether or not a student met state standards. By meeting or exceeding state standards, students will receive state recognition. It will also help the state assess RB’s “overall academic achievement level.”

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
New incentives for juniors taking the PSAE