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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: November 13, 2017 03:10 PM
From: Representative Mark Longietti
To: All House members
Subject: Alternative Pathways for High School Students to Meet Graduation Requirements Co-Sponsorship Memo
I invite your co-sponsorship of legislation (attached) to provide high school students with multiple and varied pathways to meet statewide graduation requirements, as opposed to passing individual Keystone Exams. Without this legislation, high school students would be required to score “proficient” or “advanced” on individual Keystone Exams in Algebra I, Biology and Literature, or through Project Based Assessments, beginning with the class of 2020.

This legislation, which is based upon recommendations developed by the Department Education, provides students with the following options:
  1. Achieve an identified composite score based upon performance across all three Keystone Exams.For example, a higher score on the Keystone Literature and Biology Exams could help offset a lower score on the Keystone Algebra I Exam.
  2. Achieve an equivalent score on an alternative assessment approved by the Secretary of Education.SAT, ACT and International Baccalaureate tests could be examples of alternative assessments, if approved by the Secretary.
  3. Demonstrate competency through course grades, and through evidence of readiness for postsecondary success as contained in the student’s career portfolio.Act 6 of 2017 already provides a similar alternative pathway for career and technical education students, which remains as a third route to graduation for CTE students; this extends such a pathway as a fourth route for general education students.
In addition to these expanded avenues, the legislation would eliminate the option of using Project Based Assessments, which have proven problematic for both students and school districts. It would also allow schools to decide whether or not to include Keystone Exam scores on student transcripts.

Please join me in introducing this legislation to provide alternative pathways for high school students to demonstrate readiness for postsecondary success.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB2048