My first year teaching I was at West Philadelphia High School and a lot of effort was put into keeping the testing environment quiet and organized. Two teachers were in each room for proctoring; snacks were distributed; lots of breaks were provided; and calculators were plentiful.
My second year teaching I was at the School of the Future and we had similar preparations. Unfortunately, I was alone for proctoring but had significantly fewer students to watch over (half a regular-sized classroom at the time). We still provided calculators and some snacks.
This year I am at the Academy at Palumbo and - while I am not directly proctoring - I have been a half-hour of relief for one of two teachers in a testing room. Unfortunately we don't have enough calculators to provide one for each student, but enough of them have for it not to be a huge issue. And we only have some snacks due the courtesy of one of our teachers.
All in all, very different experiences. Since this is the case, I really wonder how we can call all of this "standardized?" All the research into how resources affecting outcomes of students confirms observations I make on a daily basis. Students who don't have the money for calculators might suffer. Students who did not have time to come to PSSA workshops due to other family responsibilities suffer. Students who did not eat a full meal in the morning suffer.
Then I start thinking about the other students in the school - the ones who are arriving late and sometimes missing instructional time across the School District due to testing taking priority. The PSSA is actually HARMING others in its administration - something I'm sure is not widely advertised.
I hope something big changes soon about all this. Otherwise I might have to grab a guitar and start strumming the PSSA blues.