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Pennsylvania graduation requirements are changing

Say good-bye to standardized testing – current freshmen, and beyond, will only need to “check off” a box to graduate. Seriously? Where was this 37-years ago?

So here are the Boxes and the crux of the new changes being implemented:

  • Acceptance to a four-year college (yes there are a few colleges and universities that do not require you to take the SATs to get in.) NYU, Cornell College, ASU – to name a few
  • A full-time job offer and or an industry certification (Tradesmen)
  • Military enrollment, or
  • Need to have SAT or ACT scores above a threshold, set by the State.

Additionally, students will need to have met the grade requirements for the following subjects, to be eligible:

  • Algebra
  • Biology
  • Literature

Signed into law, PA 2017 Act 6 (House Bill 202) amends the Public-School Code and allows students, who are looking to pursue a career as a Tradesmen, to prove readiness and expertise as an alternative to formal standardized testing. Yes, they still need to achieve passing scores in individual subject testing but, as long as they do, the student will graduate.

Governor Wolf has long asserted that “…passing a high school exit exam is not the sole valid measure of proficiency and career readiness, and that Pennsylvania should take a more holistic approach by enabling students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through multiple valid measures…”

So, what are your thoughts? Good, bad or is PA just looking to “do the right thing”?


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