Rethinking the Keystone Exams

PA Keystone Exams

The Keystone Exams are end-of-course tests in algebra, biology, and English literature. A law adopted last year delayed a requirement that students score advanced or proficient on the Keystones or complete an alternative assignment before they can receive their diplomas.

Now, state lawmakers are rethinking the academic impact of the Keystones in a broader way.

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives adopted a bill providing an alternative to the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement for career and technical education students. The bill's unanimous bipartisan support demonstrates a willingness to move away from the Keystone Exams as the sole pathway to graduation.

Meanwhile, in the state Senate, Sen. Tommy Tomlinson is sponsoring a bill that would prevent the state from making the Keystone Exams a graduation requirement. Instead, it would be up to school boards to decide the academic impact of Keystone Exams on their students, including whether it would be a graduation requirement.

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