Our opinion: But what do they mean?

So, now we have the Keystone Exams, and we have results, in numbers, from the Keystone Exams.

The mixed bag of results from Warren County high schools shows that some students in some schools in some subjects didn’t do very well. The results show that other students in other high schools in some subjects did better.

One can compare those results to state averages and determine…not much.

America is now more than a dozen years since the No Child Left Behind Act took effect at the federal level. That act told states that they had better institute examination systems that meet federal approval to measure student performance and the performance of local education systems. They would do this to continue to receive federal education funding.

For almost all of those years, Pennsylvania relied on its Pennsylvania System of Scholastic Assessment examinations to do the measuring, the comparing, and determining whether individual schools and school districts were making adequate yearly progress on meeting the goals of No Child Left Behind.

In that time, scores ebbed and flowed from good to bad. And, in the end, the statistics were confusing, the conclusions drawn from them were suspect.

Now comes the Keystones, and the first results are in for Warren County schools.

And, in the tarnished tradition of the PSSAs, no one is really sure what they mean, including the Warren County School District Administration.

We are publishing those results today, although the most one might draw from them is that students in some individual schools are doing poorly, or at least not as well, compared to other schools in the same subjects.

If these scores translate into some adjustment of teaching methods or emphasis geared toward those individual short-comings, that’s fine. More than that, however, remains to be seen.