For Immediate Release:
Director of Communications
Mechanicsburg, PA, October 15, 2018 – With the passage of Senate Bill 1095, years of uncertainty and concern with the current system have been resolved for students and schools.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) applauds the final passage of Senate Bill 1095, legislation that provides multiple pathways for students to demonstrate readiness for high school graduation, in addition to passing Keystone Exams. The association extends its appreciation to Senator Thomas McGarrigle (R-Chester/Delaware), who worked with PSBA and other stakeholders to introduce and advance the bill through the General Assembly. The association urges Gov. Tom Wolf to quickly sign the measure into law.
“Senate Bill 1095 recognizes that our students are better than a test. This bill listens and responds to the voices of concerned students, parents, teachers, school board members, administrators and others who believe that Keystone Exam scores should not be used for high-stakes motivations nor become a barrier as a sole measure for being eligible to graduate. The legislation provides flexibility by allowing alternative valid and rigorous benchmarks for students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be college and career ready,” said PSBA Chief Executive Officer Nathan G. Mains.
The measures-of-success under four options provided in the Bill are relevant to students’ individual career goals and reflect the coursework, grades, activities and achievements earned. In addition to Keystone Exams, alternative tests and other factors can be counted toward graduation. The new performance-based system allows schools and teachers to obtain a more complete picture of a student’s knowledge, skills and talents as a basis for awarding a diploma, instead of being based solely on standardized test scores. Senate Bill 1095 contains provisions for oversight and accountability for schools and students.
The reforms under Senate Bill 1095 give students broader opportunities to demonstrate their readiness for success after high school. These options ensure that students are challenged to meet rigorous requirements for graduation while allowing them to focus on the courses and activities that support their postsecondary goals.
PSBA is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth. Founded in 1895, PSBA was the first school boards association established in the United States.