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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: July 27, 2016 02:15 PM
From: Representative Mike Turzai and Rep. Mike Tobash
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Allowing Students to Substitute NOCTI Performance for Keystone Exam Performance
In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation which will provide students enrolled in vocational education programs with flexibility in fulfilling their graduation requirements.

Specifically, our legislation would allow students who participate in a vocational education program (either in a vocational-technical school or in a school district) to demonstrate proficiency on exams developed by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) in lieu of demonstrating proficiency on a Keystone Exam.

For more than 50 years, NOCTI has provided a battery of assessments for students enrolled in career and technical programs across the United States. The assessments are developed by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in secondary and post-secondary education as well as business and industry.

This substitution option would only be available during school years in which demonstrated proficiency on a Keystone Exam is a requisite condition for high school graduation. Additionally, our legislation requires the Department of Education to establish a performance level for proficiency on the NOCTI Exam, which must be approved by the State Board of Education within 6 months of the effective date of the bill.

An alternative method for measuring students’ aptitude and achievement is a critical first step in abandoning the failed education paradigm which for years has unfairly emphasized performance on standardized tests that “judge fish by their ability to climb trees”.

Please join us in recognizing the need for additional flexibility in our education approach and tailoring our education policy to the needs and demands of the Commonwealth’s evolving workforce.

Introduced as HB2381