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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 16, 2015 10:26 AM
From: Representative Mike Tobash
To: All House members
Subject: Keystone Exams
Please find attached legislation that I plan to introduce in the near future regarding the Keystone Exams.

The Federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires state testing to be done in order to evaluate the performance of schools and their students. Pennsylvania meets this requirement through the PSSA Exams and the Keystone Exams. Currently, three Keystone Exams – Algebra I, Literature and Biology – are being administered to meet the requirements of NCLB. Under current state law, the Department of Education is required to develop seven more exams in different subject matters; however, they are not necessary to meet the requirements of NCLB. In addition, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education recently approved Chapter 4 Regulations to Title 22 of the Pa Code requiring students to demonstrate proficiency on the Algebra I, Biology, and Literature examinations to meet graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2017.

After hearing feedback from school administrators, parents, teachers, students, businesses and higher education professionals, I believe legislation is needed to address their concerns.

This legislation will eliminate the development and implementation of the seven pending Keystone Exams. In addition, this legislation will allow individual school districts to determine whether Keystone Exams will be used as a graduation requirement if they believe it is in the best interests of their students and education plan; adhering to Pennsylvania’s proud tradition of local control.

Please join me in this effort and consider signing on as a cosponsor to this legislation.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB168