Saturday, January 23, 2010

High School Competency Graduation Exit Exams Become PA State Law

As of the January 9, 2010 issue of The Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Keystone Exams are officially and finally approved as high school competency graduation exit exams. Pennsylvania's public school students and school staff will join those from 28 states who are required or are in the process of implementing state-prescribed high school comprehensive exams as high school graduation requirements. Unlike some all-or-none tests, the Keystone Exams will be administered as end-of-course tests as student complete courses, and they may count for one-third of the course grade. Publication of the Keystone Exams as a new rule and regulation in the The Pennsylvania Bulletin was the final "legal" step in making these exams state law.

Exams will be phased in over time, beginning in the 2010-2011 school year. The class of 2014-2015 must demonstrate proficiency in English Composition, Literature, Algebra I and Biology. Beginning with the class of 2016-2017 students must demonstrate proficiency in English composition and literature, two of the following; Algebra I, Algebra II or Geometry; Biology or Chemistry, and one of the following: American History, World History, or Civics and Government. If there is a delay in implementing these exams, a "grandfather" clause has been written into the new law to avoid penalizing students unable to follow the regulations as currently provisioned.

You can read The Pennsylvania Bulletin online at