On September 12, the PA Board of Education voted, 13-4, to approve revisions to Chapter 4 concerning the Keystone Exams and adoption of the PA Core Standards. Beginning with the class of 2017, students will be required to pass three Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Biology and Literature) or a comparable assessment to obtain a high school diploma. The class of 2019 will be required to pass four Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Biology, Literature, Composition). The class of 2020 and beyond will be required to pass five Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Biology, Literature, Composition, Civics and Government). For details, see: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pennsylvania-state-board-of-educationapproves-new-academic-standards-and-revised-high-school-graduation-requirements-223497551.html.
At the September 12 meeting, opposition was expressed by groups, such as the NAACP, who are concerned that requiring students to pass these tests to graduate will negatively impact particular student populations such as special education students, English language learners and students in historically “low-achieving” districts. In addition to those concerns, the two minority chairs of both the Senate and House Education Committees voted against the Chapter 4 revisions and continue to call on the PA Department of Education to produce the cost of these tests and the implementation of the PA Core Standards on districts.
As reported in the September VOTER, with the end of AYP, PA schools will participate in the publicly accessible School Performance Profile. The Profile was scheduled to be rolled out on September 30 but some schools were reporting incorrect data, so the release has been pushed back four days. For more: http://articles.mcall.com/2013-09-27/news/mc-pa-school-performance-profile-delayed-20130927_1_state-delays-release-keystone-exam-school-performance-profile