Budget cuts responsible for lower 2011-12 test scores, Kirsch says

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Released September 21, 2012


Statement by Ted Kirsch, President
in response to Gov. Corbett’s PSSA announcement

AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch released the following statement on the release of the 2011-12 PSSA test scores and the Corbett administration’s attempt to deflect blame for a small drop in student test scores statewide.

“It’s clear to parents and educators that two years of Corbett budget cuts are to blame for a small drop in PSSA scores last year. The Corbett education budget cuts, now totaling nearly $1 billion, have taken their toll on schools across the state, which have laid off 14,000 educators, increased class sizes at 60 percent of the school districts, reduced art, music, extended-day programs and summer-school programs, closed school libraries, laid off school nurses and eliminated every support -- from tutoring for struggling students to honors courses for gifted learners.

“Shame on Gov. Corbett for tying a tiny drop in overall test scores to an ongoing investigation into cheating on state standardized tests. Any cheating on tests is deplorable, but to use an incomplete investigation involving a handful of schools and educators state wide to discredit our public schools and the educators who have dedicated their careers to helping all children reach their full potential is nothing short of a political cheap shot.

“It’s time for Gov. Corbett to take responsibility for education budget cuts and other wrong-headed reforms that are crippling our public schools and denying thousands of children the education they need and deserve.”


AFT Pennsylvania is the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. AFT Pennsylvania represents 36,000 Pre-K-12 teachers and support staff, college and university faculty, staff and graduate student instructors, and state employees.