Feb 19, 2016

Senate Bill 880 Postpones Keystone Exam Graduation Requirement

Governor Wolf recently signed Senate Bill 880 into law, providing school districts and students across the Commonwealth with a reprieve from the Keystone Exam graduation requirement. The Keystone Exams are a set of standardized tests in the areas of Biology, Literature, and Algebra 1, which were poised to roll-out in the 2016-2017 school year. Without SB 880, every student in the state would be required to pass the exams before they could graduate. Students who did not pass the exams after two attempts would be permitted to complete a project instead.

SB 880, however, grants a two-year reprieve from the Keystone Exam graduation requirement. The bill garnered support from the Pennsylvania Education Association, and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. SB 880 provides for a six-month review period by the Department of Education to analyze the practical issues involved with implementing the Keystone Exams, and gives school districts additional time to comply.

Prior to SB 880, additional tests were scheduled to be added in the years to come, including: U.S. History, World History, Geometry, English Composition, Civics and Government, Chemistry and Algebra II. The future of the Keystone Exams may be in question following SB 880, and school districts and students are encouraged to stay tuned for developments.

Please contact the Education and School Law Group at Eastburn and Gray, P.C. with questions about this, or other education law issues.

Author: Erin N. Kernan

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