McGarrigle Bill Providing Alternatives to Keystone Exam Graduation Requirements Signed Into Law

HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom McGarrigle (R-26) providing students with alternatives to Keystone Exams to fulfill high school graduation requirements was signed into law today.

The new law will provide students who do not score proficient on Keystone Exams with alterative pathways to demonstrate their readiness to graduate from high school.

The Keystone Exam graduation requirement has been delayed until the 2020-21 school year. The alternate graduation options McGarrigle’s legislation proposes would take effect when the Keystone exam delay expires.

“The goal of creating graduation requirements is to ensure students can demonstrate the knowledge and skills they need to enter the workforce. There is certainly more than one way to show proficiency,” McGarrigle said. “Keystone Exams should not be a barrier to graduation for students who could otherwise be successful in college or in the workplace.”

Under Senate Bill 1095, students would have to meet one of the following requirements to graduate:

  • Meet or exceed a composite score across Keystone exams in algebra I, biology, and literature, and demonstrate at least “basic” performance on each of the three exams;
  • Meet or exceed local grade requirements in subjects tested by the Keystone exams and complete a subject-specific advanced placement, international baccalaureate, or armed services vocational aptitude test, gain acceptance in a registered apprenticeship program, or attain a career readiness certificate;
  • Meet or exceed local grade requirements in subjects tested by the Keystone exams and present at least three pieces of evidence from the student’s career portfolio, which is required for federal accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

McGarrigle said that Senate Bill 1095 was the result of recommendations from the Department of Education and collaboration with leaders in the education community, including teachers and administrators.

CONTACT: Mike Rader mrader@pasen.gov (717) 787-1305