Rep. Jonathan Fritz (Susquehanna/Wayne) reported that the House passed legislation this week that would remove the heavy focus on standardized testing as a requirement to graduate and instead allow students various options to show proficiency in pursuing their own career paths.
“This is excellent news,” said Fritz. “This legislation would allow students to showcase their skills and abilities in other fashions instead of being judged solely on their performance on standardized exams.”
Senate Bill 1095 would provide Pennsylvania students with additional options to fulfill high school graduation requirements beyond the Keystone Exams. Students who do not score proficient on the Keystone Exams would be able to demonstrate their readiness to graduate through alternative routes.
Specifically, the bill outlines several commonsense options 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.
“A student’s ability to graduate and their future should not be determined based only on the scores they achieve on a standardized exam,” said Fritz.
As part of the bill, the Keystone Exam graduation requirement would be put on hold until the 2021-22 school year. The alternate graduation options in Senate Bill 1095 would take effect when that delay expires.
This legislation, which now goes back to the Senate for concurrence, seeks to enhance a multi-bill package to expand career and technical education to benefit both students and employers looking to fill jobs in high-demand fields.