Oct. 26, 2018

Educators today understand that a student’s abilities and knowledge cannot always be captured by a standardized test. Therefore, the Legislature has taken steps to give flexibility to students and teachers when assessing if a student has reached proficiency and is eligible for graduation.

Legislation recently approved by the General Assembly and signed into law as Act 158 of 2018 will remove the heavy focus on standardized testing and provide additional options to fulfill high school graduation requirements beyond the Keystone Exams.

Once the new law takes effect, students who do not score proficient on the Keystone Exams will be able to demonstrate their readiness to graduate through several alternative routes.

Specifically, several commonsense options are outlined for assessing student performance while also giving teachers more flexibility with classroom instruction time. Some alternatives include a student’s successful completion of work-based learning programs, a service learning project or an offer of full-time employment as evidence of post-secondary readiness.

As part of the new law, the Keystone Exam graduation requirement has been put on hold until the 2021-22 school year. The alternate graduation options outlined above will also take effect that same year.

I supported the legislation to create this change because I understand success is demonstrated in more than one way. Our teachers and students need options, not restrictions, in order to succeed.

Representative Curt Sonney
4th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman