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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2016 11:16 AM
From: Representative Mike Turzai and Rep. Mike Tobash
To: All House members
Subject: Graduation Requirements for CTE Students
In the near future, we plan to reintroduce legislation to create an alternative pathway for career and technical education (CTE) students to demonstrate readiness for high school graduation. Last session, this legislation, formerly HB 2381, was unanimously supported by the House (188-0).

Specifically, our legislation will require CTE students, in school years in which proficiency on a Keystone Exam is a requisite condition for high school graduation, to complete grade-based requirements for the associated academic content area for any Keystone Exam on which a CTE student has not obtained proficiency in order to meet graduation requirements. CTE students utilizing this option will also be required to either obtain an industry-based competency certification related to the CTE student’s program of study or demonstrate a high likelihood of success on an approved industry-based competency assessment, such as the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) exam or the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) exam, or readiness to continue in the CTE student’s chosen program of study, as demonstrated through benchmark assessments, course grades, and other factors consistent with the CTE student’s career plans.

This legislation mirrors the graduation option for CTE students that was included in the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Act 1 of 2016 Report, which identified alternatives to utilizing the Keystone Exams as a benchmark for high school graduation. Our legislation will also remove the statutory requirement for the development and implementation of additional Keystone Exams beyond the three exams which are currently administered annually.

It is clear that postsecondary success looks different for students pursuing different postsecondary career pathways and that using the Keystone Exams as a one-size-fits-all option for CTE students does not recognize that different measures should be used to demonstrate readiness for these different pathways. Please join us in recognizing the need to tailor our state’s education policy to the needs and demands of these students and the Commonwealth’s evolving workforce.

Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB202