Pennsylvania Senate Passes Delay for Assessment Graduation Requirement

Photo credit: Kumar Appaiah (CC-By-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Kumar Appaiah (CC-By-SA 2.0)

The Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 880 49 to 0 on Monday that would place a two-year delay on the use of Pennsylvania’s Keystone Exams, as a graduation requirement.  Presently students graduating in 2017 must take and pass the Keystone Exams in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology in order to graduate.

State Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) who is the chair of the Senate Education Committee and sponsor of the bill said in a memo attached to the bill, “The Keystones are designed to ensure that Pennsylvania schools are preparing students effectively and efficiently for postsecondary education or the work force.  However, in its implementation, unanticipated consequences that are impacting options for students and parents have arisen, particularly with regard to project-based assessments.  While we are committed to strong accountability in the process, we believe reasonable changes may be in order.  This legislation will give us time to work together with all stakeholders to improve the process.”

Should this bill become law the Keystone Exams will be used as a graduation requirement starting in the 2018-2019 school year.  This gives assessment opponents a little more time to nix this requirement.