Mandated tests that are part of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) will be reduced by 20 percent for the 2017-18 academic year.

The change aims to allow teachers to improve instruction in specific subjects rather than increase the amount of classroom time preparing for mandated exams.

Specifically, the state Department of Education is removing two sections — one in math, one in English/language arts — and additional questions from the science section, which could eliminate up to two full testing days for some schools. This change affects students and teachers in grades three through eight, who will now spend an average of 20 percent less time on statewide testing.